Heart-to-Heart Preaching

How to tap authentic emotions, both yours and the listeners'

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Several years ago I endured one of the worst Bible studies ever.

I wasn't in the audience.

The musicians concluded the worship service, and I stepped onto the stage alone. As I adjusted the podium and laid out my notes, I heard the familiar rustling of Bibles, pens, and notebooks.

After a brief introduction, I delved into my message. Suddenly, though my lips were moving and words were sounding forth, my neatly typed notes blurred into classical Greek. My carefully planned message had no energy. Before long I'd lost the entire congregation to purse-fishing, watch-peeking, heavy eyelids, and blue-sky daydreaming.

Though the dead of winter, I was sweating profusely. I wanted to die!

When it was over, I was so embarrassed I quickly slipped out of the building—and into depression. I didn't want to show my face at the church office the next day. I had bombed, and I feared I had raised serious questions about my teaching ability.

Finally I shared my grief with a fellow pastor. He listened empathetically ...

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Editor's Update

Matt Woodley

Preachers Are Not Mr. Spocks

September 26, 2016

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