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What Preachers Can Learn from Speechwriters

3 word crafting techniques we can learn from presidential speechwriters.

What Preachers Can Learn from Speechwriters
Image: POJCHEEWIN YAPRASERT PHOTOGRAPHY / Getty

In April 1963, President John F. Kennedy participated in a ceremony awarding honorary citizenship to Winston Churchill. Kennedy declared that “in the dark days and darker nights when England stood alone—and most men save Englishmen despaired of England's life—he mobilized the English language and sent it into battle.” Those last words (originally attributed to the journalist Edward R. Murrow) render my dream every time I stand before my congregation with Bible in hand—I pray my Spirit-inspired words do battle with dark forces and lead to spiritual liberation. But how will those words be marshalled, serviced, polished, and “mobilized”? How will these words find their target?

I am grateful for the opportunity Preaching Today is giving me to examine what preachers can learn from writers, whether it be songwriters or sportswriters or other literary artists. Why? Because we preachers make our living with sentences just like they do, and we too aspire ...

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