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Four Powerful Preaching Practices from Martin Luther King Jr.

King knew his context, developed a mantra, offered winsome challenge, and employed metaphors.
Four Powerful Preaching Practices from Martin Luther King Jr.
Image: Adoralia / Lightstock

The preaching of Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t merely inspire a congregation, which would be no small task; it inspired a massive movement. It wouldn’t be a stretch to assert that King’s preaching was the primary, if not sole, initiator of social transformation in America through the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s.

Although the zenith of King’s preaching sits on a mountaintop that is more than a half century in the distance behind us, there is so much that contemporary preachers can learn from “the Preacher King” and employ today. And, who knows? Maybe the Holy Spirit will use our preaching, like he did King’s, to bring about the social transformation so many of us crave.

Whole volumes have been written on the powerful preaching practices of King. Most of those are worth the time and money. In this brief article, however, I will sketch out only four of those practices. We will explore how these practices are evident in King’s “I ...

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