Sermon Titles You Would Like to Hear

This week I have been engaged in planning a fall sermon series on the Ten Commandments. Part of this process always involves creating interesting and maybe even provocative sermon titles. Sometimes this can be challenging, other times it just flows. Here are mine:

  • Everlasting Ethics (intro)
  • The Primary Priority
  • No God, but God
  • Holding on to Holiness
  • It’s God’s Time
  • Heaven in Your Home
  • Loving Life
  • Sacred Sex
  • Stealing Steals
  • The Ethic of Honesty
  • Character of Contentment
  • Summing up Sinai

Developing these titles got me to thinking about sermon titles in general. Some sermon titles are classic such as What Must I Do to be Saved? Others have been based on misinterpreted Scripture such as Almost Thou Persuadest Me to Become a Christian (sorry, but this is not an accurate rendering of that verse).  While others use alliteration like my old pal John Dobbs’ Gehazi the Greedy Glut. And still others are just plain silly such as Sliding to Hell on Your “Buts”.

My guess is that every preacher has a few sermon titles they would like to forget. I’ll confess. In the hubris of my youth I preached a sermon entitled Three Reasons to Commit Fornication.  The reasons you ask? First, it feels good, second, everyone else is doing it, and third, it will send you to hell! In some circles I have yet to live this one down. lol 

So, what do you think about sermon titles? Any stand out in your memory? Any you would like to hear?

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22 Responses to Sermon Titles You Would Like to Hear

  1. Dee Andrews says:

    Danny –

    I can’t believe you really had a sermon titled “Three Reasons to Commit Fornication!” That beats any others I’VE ever heard, I think.

    I can’t think of any offhand that I probably SHOULD remember because I’ve been around a very long time and have heard a whole lot of sermons.

    I know one thing I don’t like, though. LONG sermons! One of my blog friends (I don’t remember who, now) said that his wife was in an audience where a preacher actually said,”and now, thirteenthly . . .”

    And it wasn’t even the LAST point!

    That, my preacher friend, is too many!

    Your sermon titles on the 10 Commandments sound interesting. Do you tape them or do them for CDs? Just wondering. I like listening to sermons on CDs while I’m driving, although Greg England (who has sent me some of his, which were excellent) says NOT to listen to his while driving because they can put you to sleep! I’ve not found that so with his. He recently did a great series on life and death, hades, paradise, heaven and hell and the resurrection day and it was tremendous. Answered a whole lot of questions I’d had for years and years about what exactly happens to us when we die and what eternity is really like and what it’s all about.

    You’d get a lot out of them, I’m sure, and could use them to preach from. He gives lots of scriptural references for all he says about things I’d NEVER heard presented before in a really meaningful way.

    Good post. I’ve been keeping up with your blog, just haven’t been commenting. I’ll try to do better. Been too lazy!

    Cheers & Blessings to you all today! Dee

    P. S. Glad you had a good week on Pensacola Beach. Tom and I used to come over there all the time on weekends with our Hobie and sail and go to Fort Pickens and the Air Station to the museums and all. Loved it.

  2. Lee Hodges says:

    Being from Tennessee I kinda favor the Hillbilly Ten Commandents.

    (1) Just one God.
    (2) Honor yer Ma &Pa.
    (3) No tellin’ tales or gossipin’.
    (4) Git yourself to Sunday meetin’.
    (5) Don’t put nothin’ before God.
    (6) No foolin’ around with another fellow’s gal.
    (7) No killin’
    (8) Watch yer mouth.
    (9) Don’t take what ain’t yers.
    (10) Don’t be hankerin’ for yer buddy’s stuff.

  3. Royce says:

    My all time favorites are these two preached by a Baptist evangelist back in the 40’s.

    “Bobbed hair, bossy wives, and women preachers”.

    And, “How to get a one way ticked from Buffalo to hell”

    Grace to you,
    Royce Ogle

  4. dannydodd says:

    Dee, enjoyed your comments greatly. Yes, I really did preach that. Back in the day I was a little more brash and often did not practice much prudence in sermonizing.

    I am glad Greg’s sermons are such a blessing to you. I think each of us have a preacher(s)who just connect to us in special ways.

    Lee, I like those hillbilly titles. Acutally never heard em before and probably will use em now!

    I laughed out loud at those sermon titles Royce. The one about the bobbed hair reminded me of another sermon I heard of entitled “Top Not Come Down”. Wrenched from the context of the paralytic friend’s lowering him into the house to met Jesus, this preacher railed against women undoing their hair ties and allowing their hair to flow over their shoulders!

  5. Donna says:

    I like the Hillbillie titles too.

    I think sermon titles are much like blog post titles…the author puts much more thought into them than the audience pays to them. And yet, a catchy title will make me at least start out listening….

  6. I can’t remember any of the really bad one’s titles. I will say that Atchley is the king of catchy titles with double meanings.

    btw Danny, I was tell JD that I remember you getting hit in the head with a softball bat. Do I remember that right? I was playing for Meadowbrook, Siwell or South Madison (can’t remember since I played with them all during that timeframe) and it was at a MBC tournament. I remember somebody slinging the bat and you caught it with you head. Is that right? Of course you might not remember 🙂

  7. “All you need to know this week in 15 minutes or less.”
    Now that is a sermon!

  8. benoverby says:

    If big white hat displays his sermon title on the sign out front, “All You Need to Know this Week in 15 Minutes or Less,” then I could get all his crowd by simply advertising, “All You Need to Know this Week in 14 Minutes or Less.” It could be like a war at the gas pump. How low can you go?

  9. dannydodd says:

    Sermon wars? lol I don’t think any preacher could do it in under 10 minutes!

    Tommy, that was NOT me getting hit in the head. It was me who slung the bat! Poor Wayne Clemons just happened to be in the way and paid the price for my wrath at fouling out- if I remember correctly. That bat took a freak twirl and bam- down went Clemons! lol And I think we were playng Siwell. You murdered us. But the next year we won it all when our coach stacked the team with a bunch of linebackers. Did not know we had been on the diamond together.

  10. I’ve been told about an Alabama preacher who had a sermon on “Taters in the Church” i.e., Irri-taters, Agi-taters, etc.

    One guy preached the cleansing of Naaman as “Seven Ducks in a Muddy River.”

    Are titles important? Judging from the annual meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature, you don’t have to say anyting important. Just come up with a catchy title.

    Seems like Haddon Robinson’s book on Expository Preaching has a good section on the importance and how to come up with good titles.

    At Freed-Hardeman, Billy Smith always told us “never more than seven words in a title.” I stayed with that one.

  11. dannydodd says:

    Frank, when I click on your name I go to a site with lists of Bible colleges.

    Is that you?

  12. Coming up with creative titles is a gift … that I don’t have! I appreciate your wrestling with the Ten Words as Deuteronomy calls them (cf. 4.13, Hebrew).

    Lewis Smedes has a marvelous book called “Mere Morality” that covers the second tablet. It is well worth looking into.

    Shalom,
    Bobby Valentine

  13. Danny, No it’s not me. I guess I transposed two letters in my website. Folks at the “Bible college” website have decided to piggy-back on a bunch of other blogs including (alas!) mine. Sorry for the bad link.

    http://www.frankbellizzi.blogspot.com

  14. odgie says:

    I don’t think that any in my mind will ever top “What Is Hell Like?” In second place is one that I heard when I was a little kid on “The Evils of Mixed Bathing,” This one was about why boys and girls shouldn’t swim together.

  15. mattdabbs says:

    I think both of those were Jimmy Allen sermons weren’t they odgie?

  16. Matthew says:

    Good stuff, I remember a sermon I preached once called “When the Bride Looks Like a Whore.” Now that is a shocker.

    Also, I am talking about medical insurance and preachers today. Love to know what you think.

    http://www.matthewsblog.waynesborochurchofchrist.org

  17. Darin says:

    Now I feel bad. I usually just do sermon series and often each doesn’t really have a title.

    I didn’t realize I was doing something wrong.

  18. Trey says:

    Loved the thoughts … some made me laugh and others made me cry (3 reasons to commit fornication)? What were you thinking? kidding

    I could give you plenty of “stupid” sermon titles from my past sermons. As for a couple of examples of sermon titles? I heard a preacher tell me one time he wanted to preach a sermon on “Get your ‘but’ out of the ‘woulds.” With the idea of everyone saying “I would, but.” I thought it was pretty lame.

    I did challenge an old KJV only guy the other day to preach on Baalam. He said his bible was not outdated. I said I would like to see the faces the first time you say to the church there that, “And Baalam’s ass spoke to him.”

  19. preacherman says:

    Stairway to Heaven or Hiway to Hell?

    Wake me up before you go, go (A series on divorce)

    “Anti”‘s & Grace

  20. dannydodd says:

    Funny comments.

    Trey, doesn’t the KJV even make the statement in the Baalam story, “the dumb ass speaketh”? rofl

    Matthew’s title was a shocker to me.

    Another I forgot to mention was about Christ’s second coming. I knew of a young man who preached a sermon entitled “Are You Ready?” and at the invitation whipped out a pistol armed with blanks and actually shot one off! Elders and the elderly were diving under pews!

    Thanks for the comments everyone. This has been a fun post!

  21. Rev. Sam says:

    I preached a message once (never again will I do it) “I Am Glad My Church Needs Money”

  22. acetip-9 says:

    acetip-9…

    […]Sermon Titles You Would Like to Hear « Adventures in Preaching[…]…

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