Chapter 45

How to Translate Male Sermons to Women

And connect with what may be the largest half of your congregation.

"All conversation between men and women" according to Roy McCloughry, "is cross-cultural conversation." If he's right, any preacher may communicate well with only part of the congregation and miss the other part. As a woman who has listened mostly to male preachers during the past six decades, I've reflected during many sermons on why some connect with my world and others don't.

How men and women think

Ruth Tiffany Barnhouse compares the male and female thinking processes to two kinds of vision we all use: macular and peripheral. Macular vision focuses on one thing to examine its details. Peripheral vision takes in the larger context. We use both every day; in fact, the two taken together allow us to see more fully what is there.

Barnhouse likens macular vision, focus, to the masculine way of thinking. Men tend to analyze problems, figure out their parts, and choose among the options. She compares peripheral vision to feminine thinking. Women tend to consider ...

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