Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Directions in Preaching (4)

The HOW of preaching raises the important question of how effective preaching occurs. In his survey of 2000 years of preaching, O.C. Edwards highlights four qualities of effective preachers: a good mind, personal holiness, rhetorical reflex and preaching without notes.

Rhetorical reflex is his term for 'a native sense of how to get one's point across when addressing a group'. I reflect on one of the giants of the past C.H. Spurgeon, and Helmut Thielicke's memorable analysis of what made Spurgeon so effective. He concluded that it was his:
CHEEFULNESS - the contagion of grace that showed through humor and his whole demeanor.
WORLDLINESS - 'a plunging with his message into the world and emerging in its climate'.
How interesting to review these two characteristics. Spurgeon was able to talk to people where they were in the realm of the ordinary about the extraordinary gospel with joy.

Preaching without notes raises the issue of connecting with people without the barrier of paper - it's controversial but important for this age.

Under the HOW I shall also need to talk about collaboration in preaching and leading worship - something I have tried to do often with the blog!

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