Should a sermon be funny?

It wasn't so long ago that I had a conversation about styles of preaching. The gentleman with whom I was having this discussion with, got me going with this statement, "Our pastor uses too much humor. When you're studying and teaching the Word of God, it should be taken very seriously. There's a time and place for everything, and a worship service is for worship and contemplation and learning... not comedy!"

Personally, I agreed that studying and teaching the Bible, and providing spiritual direction for people, is serious business. But I disagreed that humor has no place in the pulpit. I wonder why we can't have both? Life application for spiritual direction and having a sense of humor aren't exclusive are they?

Someone once remarked to me after I spoke to a large gathering of youth in a camp setting, "I like how you preach. You're funny... I'm not sure why, because it's not like you tell a lot of jokes... but you're funny." Could it be a personality issue? I don't consider myself a funny guy, but I do see things a little differently I guess. In my world, everything is a metaphor for some spiritual truth... and almost everything is amusing. I am easily amused. I am called to preach/teach the Message of Jesus (Who by the way, I think had some pretty darn funny moments).

What do you think? Does humor have a place in the preaching and teaching for spiritual direction?

*edit* I was just thinking maybe an example of what I think is funny might be in order. Check out this old blog entry on the amusing hairstyles of preachers.

A few other thoughts on humor can be found at Featured_Grownups.


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