The value of asking questions before, during, and after our sermon will help people better engage with the text and God.
Along the banks of the Schuylkill River, just north of the famous Philadelphia Art Museum is an oft-unnoticed small plaza consisting of four twelve-foot high granite statues. One of the four statues is jolting because it is strikingly counter-intuitive. A preacher in his preaching robe has his mouth open and the sculpture's title is etched into the base: "Preacher-He Guided Our Ways." The preacher isn't doing what we expect. He is not speaking, proclaiming, or pronouncing truth. Instead, the preacher is leaning forward with his knees slightly bent and head turned sideways, with both hands cupped around his ears. How does the preacher guide our ways? By leaning in and listening.
The body part most people—people both inside and outside of the church—most often associate with preachers is the mouth. Fundamentally, preachers are known for talking, but imagine if we began to be known primarily for our ears even in our preaching? Imagine if our listening was the ...