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Riveting Sermons

How to Get and Keep Listeners' Attention

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Of the thousands of sermons I've heard in my lifetime, I remember only a few; but those few glitter in my memory like diamonds scattered on a beach. One of the brightest did not shine with humor (though I recall laughing at points), nor did it shine with a showy delivery (though I distinctly remember the passion in the preacher's voice). That sermon riveted my attention because the preacher spoke about something vital to me. He exhorted us to "guard our hearts, for the heart is the wellspring of life," and you could hear a feather drop in the sanctuary, because my church had just lost our worship leader, who was having an affair. We sensed we could fall just as the worship leader had.

Every sermon cannot, indeed should not, strive to be a once-in-a-lifetime sermon. But every sermon should rivet attention on the Word. How can we increase the level of attention granted our sermons? Here is a clue.

On Thanksgiving Day, my family and I visited Old Sturbridge Village in central Massachusetts. ...

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