ADVERTISING
 
Saturday, January 19   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 

POLL
Bible literacy
How often do you read the Bible?







SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Peter Mead
 

Preaching myths (VIII)

Myth 8: Since preaching is not a performance, as long as the content is good, delivery doesn’t matter.

BIBLICAL PREACHING AUTHOR Peter Mead 03 MAY 2018 10:07 h GMT+1
preacher Photo: Pixabay (CC0)

I could extend this series for much longer, but I think I will finish with this familiar myth:



8. Since preaching is not a performance, as long as the content is good, delivery doesn’t matter.



This myth is birthed from a good motivation. Many preachers want to honour the biblical text (content), and don’t want to draw attention to themselves (delivery). 



So, in an attempt to avoid performance or entertainment, the preacher therefore ignores delivery. This is worth wrestling with though:



A. Poor delivery skills will draw attention to the preacher. If you have ever heard someone preaching with an unchecked verbal pause (i.e. the repeated use of a word without intending to use its meaning), or with an awkward gesture, or without any hint of a smile, or with unusual or absent eye contact, then you will know that it can become very distracting. 



A preacher you cannot hear, or who bores you to tears, or who doesn’t seem to care about you, is a preacher who will draw attention to himself as people try not to roast the preacher over their Sunday lunch (instead of celebrating the great content that may or may not have been there).



B. Working on delivery is not about performing.  Obviously, for some it is, and there are plenty of examples on YouTube or in the press that bring shame on the name of Christ for their quirky insistence on being strange. 



However, for most of us, working on our delivery is a matter of love for our listeners and good stewardship of the ministry God has entrusted to us.  Working on delivery is not about performing, it is about communicating effectively.



C. The goal of giving attention to our delivery is to help us become more natural.  We are not living in the old days where delivery was largely about platform presence and effective acoustics (i.e. vocal projection). 



In this day and age, the goal should be to be natural, normal, authentic. And in the unnatural environment of public speaking, it takes work to be natural.  It takes some work to make our gestures “fit” the size of the audience, or to progress logically or chronologically from left to right (from the listeners’ viewpoint). 



It takes work to bring the energy and dynamism we have in conversation into the strange setting of addressing a crowd.  Our goal is not to perform, but to be able to communicate effectively … and to be ourselves.



D. We cannot abdicate any aspect of preaching and “leave it to the Spirit”. I have seen this logic in several variations. There is the “I will do the explaining, but leave the application to the Spirit” idea – this is not good thinking. 



The Spirit is involved in your study, your explanation and your application. (What you can’t do is force change inside your listeners, that is His exclusive domain.) Equally, there is the “I will do the content, but I will leave the engaging of listeners’ attention and interest to the Spirit” excuse for being a dull communicator. 



Again, poor thinking.  We need to be leaning on the Spirit’s help in every aspect of sermon preparation and delivery. We cannot hand over one part of that, any more than we can push out the Spirit and claim to handle any part on our own.



There are many other myths I could ponder, but I will leave it there for this series.  Thanks for your comments, conversation, sharing, etc. – it is all appreciated.



Peter Mead is mentor at Cor Deo and author of several books. This article first appeared on his blog Biblical Preaching.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - Preaching myths (VIII)
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities

Christians rallied in Sofia on November 18 to defend their rights. It is the second Sunday of peaceful demonstrations against a new religion draft law that could severely restrict religious freedom and rights of minority faith confessions.

 
Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

 
Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

 
VIDEO Video
 
China rises 16 places in Open Doors World Watch List China rises 16 places in Open Doors World Watch List

There has been an serious increase in persecution of Christian communities in China in the last months.

 
The source of longing, according to C.S. Lewis The source of longing, according to C.S. Lewis

Jerry Root compares the search for meaning of C.S. Lewis with Saint Augustine's reflections.

 
The reliability of the Bible The reliability of the Bible

Jim Cecy, Senior Pastor, Campus Bible Church, answers the question Why is a defense of the reliability of the Bible important?

 
Bulgarian evangelicals ask politicians to defend “basic freedoms” Bulgarian evangelicals ask politicians to defend “basic freedoms”

Protests and prayers continue in Bulgaria for the sixth week.

 
That night That night

“No one came ot help that night, no nurse to numb the fright...”

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.