Thursday, April 14, 2016

Effective? Yes or No?

Yesterday someone talked with me about those criteria for effective preaching.  He commented that having read them he thought he ought to give up right now!  He also said that they seemed to cover everything that you could ask about effective preaching.

Today, I went through the pro forma on line response that over 300 other professors of preaching will have worked though.  After each criterion they gave a box for additions, deletions, comments.  I admit that I made a few comments along the way.  But the one that really made me think was Criterion 6.

6. Effective Communication: The effective preacher preaches sermons which clearly communicate the central idea through use of simple language and illustrations so as to convince the listeners of the message. Effective preaching is “persuasive” in that it “convinces or convicts the hearer.” The effective preacher “effectively communicates a
sense of God's presence and authority.”

Those who know me will not be surprised that I want to tease this out.  So I sent a little plea:
"I am always concerned to rate effective communication in terms of its impact upon congregations - their thinking, behavior, relationships, mission etc.  I recognize it is very difficult to evaluate this but the reality of changed hearers matters. Transformed hearers even better!  This is easier to see when a preacher is in pastoral relationships beyond the itinerant.
I see the word 'effective' as key and this is the main criterion for asking the big question - what happens for the kingdom?"

Yes, what happens indeed?

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