Using Humor Makes Your Sermon Memorable

Using Humor Makes Your Sermon Memorable

Using humor makes your sermon memorable for your audience.  Think about the last good joke you heard in a sermon.  Didn’t it catch your attention?  Didn’t it make you ready to listen to what came next?  Humor is a wonderful way to engage your audience well.  But, it has some pitfalls that you need to be aware of if you are going to use it well.   I’ve covered this topic earlier in this blog.  Here is where you can find that post.   In this post I want to expand on that topic.

Reasons To Use Humor In Your Message

Humor is a powerful tool for the preacher!   I watch preachers these days, and those who have honed the skill of using humor in their sermons are more effective than those who don’t.  Why should you consider using humor in a message?  Here are some reasons.

It Catches Attention

It was a good sermon.  The preacher, a friend of mine, was preaching about the church being like a body.  In order to make his point, he got out his golf clubs and talked about how every muscle in his body had to focus to hit the ball off the tee.  To make this point more pointed, he caught everyone’s attention by getting a member of the audience, a well known golfer in the congregation to coach him through the process.  The preacher then applied this to the church.  The people were working to gain a new vision for the future after years of decline, and now were being asked to focus together on a new future.

The sermon was good, but it became great when he gave the coup de grace.  He said that sometimes they won’t get it all right.  He then showed a video of his “coach”, the man who had helped him with the message.  The coach did a few practice swings, and then did everything he had just coached the preacher through.  Then he  took the swing…and the ball bounced off the tee a few feet away instead of flying down the fairway.

The audience roared.  The point was made in a memorable way.

Using Humor  Makes You Human

Using humor makes your sermon memorable for your audience.  But it also makes you human for your audience, especially if you tell a story about yourself.

Interstate 75 and “Alligator Alley” in the Florida Everglades — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

When you aren’t seen as the “hero”, but that you make mistakes, too, your audience will tune in.  This can be a simple story.  I once told the story about the time that I began a time of prayer (usually a “holy” moment) by saying, “and now let’s pray for those who are sick of our congregation”.  Thankfully, the people laughed, and I started again.

Or it can be a longer story to set up a point.  The time that I wasn’t paying attention after picking up my wife from the airport in southern Florida and headed back to my camp sight became one of those moments that I built up with a longer story.  Suddenly, I realized that the highway signs weren’t right.  I had left the airport and gone the wrong direction.  To make matters worse, there’s wasn’t a place to turn around for about 20 miles.    I built it up as we headed across Alligator Highway in southern Florida in the dark.  It’s an 80 mile highway!

I then pivoted to talk about being directionally challenged, and the need to consult my gps regularly when I travel, or at least a map.  The application was that we need a “map” to get through life, and so, God provided his Word for that purpose.

Use self-deprecating humor, and your audience will see you as human…like them, and they’ll listen more attentively to your messages.

Using humor makes your sermon memorable for your audience.  We’ll continue this subject in the next post.  For further reflection on this, view the video below and check out this post at