Liverpool Mission Academy PP100 Sermon Presentation Session 12 www.preachersforum.org
Learning Outcomes1. Critically evaluate the connection between the preacher’s credibility and the effectiveness of sermons.2. Describe the importance of the kerygma to gospel preaching.3. Evaluate ways in which preachers can become more effective and confident in preparing and presenting sermons.
Session Aims1. To help the student become a more advanced preacher.2. To explore both the general and specific qualities of communication needed in the preacher’s life.
Is there a connection between these two aims?Although it may not seem obvious at first, “great preachers are not great at what they do because they are just good at public communication; they are great because their whole lives communicate the message they are preaching in and out of the pulpit.” (Class Notes, p. 136).
“Persuasion is achieved by the speakers personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible. We believe good men more fully and more readily than others…It is not true, as some writers assume in their treatises on rhetoric, that the personal goodness revealed by the speaker contributes nothing to Aristotle his power of persuasion; on (384 BC – 322 BC) the contrary, his character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion he possesses.” Rhetoric, Book 1, Chapter 2
“For who does not know that words carry greater conviction when spoken by men of good repute than when spoken by men who live under a cloud, and that the argument which is made by a mans life has more Isocrates weight than that which is (436–338 BC) furnished by words?” Antidosis, Speech 15, Section 278
Kerux and KerygmaKerux: “A herald or messenger vested with public authority, who conveyed the official messages of kings, magistrates, princes, military commanders, or who gave a public summons or demand, and performed various other duties.In the NT God’s ambassador, and the herald or proclaimer of the divine word.” David Mitchell Thayer’s Greek Lexicon Chester Town Crier
• Jesus came ‘proclaiming the good news of the kingdom’ (Matt. 4.23, 9.35; Mark 1.14; Luke 3.18, 20.1)• Jesus sent out his disciples to proclaim the news of the kingdom (Matt. 10.1-5)• Peter proclaimed the good news of the gospel on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2)• Kerux = “the proclamation of the death, resurrection and forgiveness of sins in Jesus, with the promise of his inner presence by the Holy Spirit.” (Class Notes, p. 138)
Kerygma relates to “the core message of the gospel of Jesus Christ; the heart of the early Christian message.”• The apostles focused less upon the actual teachings of Christ and more upon the passion story: what Christ accomplished through his death and resurrection (John 5.24; Rom. 6.19-23).• This message of the ‘good news’ propelled the early Christians to go all over the Mediterranean world preaching this gospel message and making converts.• The early Christians planted churches and discipled new believers; hence the pastoral and theological concerns of Paul’s epistles.
In light of this historical overview of Christian preaching we must ask the question:What exactly is considered ‘good preaching’?
‘Good preaching’ should ideally accomplish at least two major aims: Kerygma Didache Proclamation of the Teaching Function Gospel Message (Edification) (Evangelism)Explaining the gospel in order for Helping to shape the life andpeople to enter the Kingdom and faith of those within the church: become believers in Christ present participants of the Kingdom of God
“For God will have His people to be edified; and He hath appointed His Word for that purpose. Therefore, if we go not about the salvation of the people, that they may receive nourishment by the doctrine that is taught them, it is sacrilege; for we pervert the pure use of the Word of God…For God will have nothing preached in His name, but that which will profit and edify the hearers, nothing but that which containeth good matter.” Calvin, “Pure Preaching of the Word.”
Evaluating Effective Preaching• Does the preacher/teacher have to be a believer in order to preach in churches?• Should the preacher have at least a basic knowledge of Scripture and the Christian faith?• How can we know if the preacher is ‘an effective communicator?’• What evidence exists that people are responding positively to the message?
• Is it clear whether or not preaching is that person’s gift?• Is the preacher’s life consistent with the message he or she proclaims?• Does the preacher structure his or her message in such a way that it makes sense to the listeners? Can they follow it?• Are the preacher’s messages grounded in the real contextual needs of the listeners?• Is the preacher’s use of language understandable and accessible to the listeners?
Communication Science How effective is a purely didactic (lecture- style) approach to preaching?Studies of speakers and listeners reveal that communication occurs on three levels: Visual Vocal Verbal 55% 38% 7% (Body Language) (Tone of Voice) (Words) Bradbury Andrew, Successful Presentation Skills. London: Kogan Page, 2006: 5.
Visual What sorts of ‘body language clues’ might these give to a listening audience?• Hands in pockets• Hands behind back• Hands on hips• Scratching neck/ear• Open arms/gestures• Crossed arms• ‘Pointing the finger’• Not making eye contact
‘The Aura Effect’Maintaining good eye contact with the entire listening audience is critical for preachers.
What happens when a preacher does not maintain good eye contact with the audience? What happens when a preacher does maintain good eye contact with the audience?
Vocal How might the modulation and tone of the preacher’s voice affect the emotions of the listening audience?• Shouting• Mumbling• Conversational style• Dramatized speech ‘Televangelist’ style• Lowered voice• Use of pauses
Verbal How might a purely ‘lecture style’ of preaching affect the listening audience?• Listeners retain about 3% of speeches• Monotone and boring?• ‘Same method used each week’• Use of outdated ‘Christian jargon’• Lazy approach?
Sermon PreparationI’m getting ready to preach a sermon. When should I panic—now or later?
Engagement Strategies To help avoid some of the panic, utilize some of the following ‘engagement strategies’ well in advance of your sermon:• Outline your purpose—what do you believe God is calling you to accomplish with this sermon? Your ‘purpose statement’ can help you to discover the most effective rhetorical strategies for your sermon shape.• Analyze your audience—to whom are you preaching? What are their needs and challenges?• Collect your information—put your information together in a way that is interesting, logical, relevant and relatable.• Choose your style—what shape or form does your sermon take? Narrative, expository, topical? What is the form of the biblical text, and should that impact upon the ultimate form taken by your sermon?
Sermon Preparation Tips• Outcome orientation—what is your hoped-for outcome of this sermon? What do you want the audience to take away?• ‘Chunking’—dissect your sermon sections into ‘bite-sized chunks’ and decide where you might place illustrations, applications etc.• Fine tune—following your preparation, leave for a day or two and come back to it; then rework and fine-tune it.
4. Limit points of view—are you sharing from yours, the audience’s, or a neutral observer’s point of view?5. Believe in yourself—project a positive outcome to the sermon rather than a negative ‘self-fulfilling prophecy.’6. Practice makes perfect—rehearse the sermon multiple times beforehand and when you preach it, do not deviate from what you’ve practised—no matter how tempting it may seem!
Developing Confidence as a Preacher• Develop humility: learn to be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses as a preacher.• This can be done through honest feedback and critical assessments of your preaching from people you trust have your best interests at heart.• Develop a team approach to preaching that incorporates the notion of ‘doing theology in community.’• Be aware of group dynamics: smaller groups tend to be more intimate, whereas larger groups can become a disconnected and possibly intimidating ‘sea of faces.’• Beware of the ‘showman effect’: preaching for the sake of entertaining the audience. (Adapted from class notes written by Rev. Dan Yarnell & Rev Dr Andy Hardy, Springdale College, England)