Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


Waking Eutychus

  • Jim Townsley
  • Jan 16, 2017
The account of Eutychus in the book of Acts informs us of an interesting church service. Eutychus was a young man who, while attending a church service, fell asleep and fell from a third story window. And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. - - Acts 20:9. Imagine someone falling asleep while the great Apostle Paul was preaching.  Fortunately for this young man the Apostle Paul attended to him and he was found alive after this tragic episode. If a young man fell asleep while Paul was preaching, what hope is there for the rest of us preachers to keep everyone awake during our church services?
This account does remind me of the importance of dynamic preaching so that people are interested, awake and ready to respond. You can’t force people to listen but we can all do our best to keep their attention. If someone falls asleep they will not be affected by the sermon. Hopefully your preaching keeps members awake and responsive. Having the truth is not enough. I believe the independent fundamental Baptists have the correct understanding of the Bible, but what good is it to bore people with the truth? Since we have the truth we must preach it in such a way that people are moved by it. The pastor’s sermon preparation and delivery are crucial to it’s impact.
The Bible is a powerful book and it alone can move men’s hearts, but it remains the responsibility of every preacher to preach it in such a way that the Word of God has its greatest effect. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. -- Hebrews 4:12. 
Every church has a few members that produce a special challenge for the pastor to keep their attention. Sometimes elderly people start to fall asleep as soon as they sit down. Sometimes disinterested teens can fall asleep or they may be texting during the sermon. Sometimes mothers with babies can be distracting to themselves and others around them. Preachers must be aware of these issues and try to eliminate them before they occur; however, keeping the preaching Spirit filled is still the main key.
If people are falling asleep in the service something needs to change and prayer is a good place to start. Prayer prepares the hearts of the people and puts a fire in the heart of the pastor. Prayer changes things and that includes the preaching. Good illustrations are also important. Jesus was the master of illustration. He used plants, animals, and every day circumstances to teach truth. Good illustrations help people to see a truth and see how it can apply to their lives. Preaching should be based on the exposition of the Word and the application to the lives of the hearers. 
Preaching must be more than entertainment. We are warned that in the last times people will be turned unto fables. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. -- 2 Timothy 4:3-4.Shallow preaching will result in shallow believers. It is the preaching of the Bible that changes lives and it should be done in such a way that people are challenged to make decisions. Every young preacher should make a study of preaching. Listen to great men of the past and read their sermons. There should be urgency in the voice of the man of God as he relays the message from God. With God’s help, let’s keep Eutychus awake.