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Connecting with More Listeners

Preaching that connects to the diverse needs of your hearers.

Connecting with More Listeners

Writing and teaching in the field of homiletics has focused predominantly on getting the text right (exegesis), getting the style right (rhetoric), and, most importantly, getting God right (theology). These are, no doubt, essential concerns and skills for effective preaching. But something is missing. The preaching event involves not only God, the preacher, and the biblical text, but the people who listen to the sermon. Getting the listener "right" is a paramount, though often neglected, consideration in preaching.

Effective sermons engage the varied listening styles represented in the congregation. Too often, we preachers become stylistically self-absorbed. We are tempted to let our stylistic preferences dominate our preaching. The only problem with my preferences is that they center on me, the preacher, and not the needs of the people to whom I preach. Sometimes we preachers promote our personal style from preference to principle without even realizing we're doing ...

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Displaying 1–2 of 2 comments

Kelly Osgood

April 01, 2015  3:34pm

Thanks for this article. Its helpful way of thinking of the sermon

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Lawrence Webb

March 23, 2015  10:24am

This is helpful analysis of our potential listeners. While the "typical listener" is non-existent, we can do better in our preparation if we keep in mind the varied needs of our hearers amongst our regulars. Thank you.

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