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Source of Passion

Focusing on emotion does not produce truly passionate preaching.

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Some time ago I dropped in for church in a small town I was driving through. The preacher's message might have been fine, but his manner was almost without expression, to the point of being distracting. His voice did not rise and fall where it might have; his pace did not vary; his arms stayed attached to the pulpit; and his energy seemed low.

Many preachers need to be and long to be more passionate in the delivery of their sermons—provided that they can avoid the manipulation of a congregation. Most preachers who desire to be more passionate, though, make a common mistake: they think of passion in preaching as primarily an emotional issue rather than a theological one.

Two generations back it was common and often expected that a preacher would cry in the pulpit over the sins of the people. When we think of passion in the pulpit as primarily about emotion, its effect can be the opposite of what we intend. Hearers may perceive the preacher to be less than authentic. Everything in the ...

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