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Preaching Is Real Performance Art

The way it's delivered is part of the message.
Preaching Is Real Performance Art

We’re counting down the Top 40 articles of Leadership Journal’s 36-year history, including this one from 2011.

“I once heard a preacher who sorely tempted me to go to church no more."

Nearly any churchgoer could have said this, and in nearly any period of history. But in this case the listener was Ralph Waldo Emerson, the American essayist (1803-1882). He went on to explain that "the capital secret of [the preacher's] profession, namely, to convert life into truth, he had not learned … there was not a hint in all the discourse that he had ever lived at all."

We have all heard preachers with that problem. Their sermons employ an artificial set of communication skills divorced from ordinary human life. These preachers assume that the purpose of the exegesis they learned in seminary is to spring-load sermons with technical data that will impress and subdue listeners. Or they spend all their time working on what to say and no time at all on how to say ...

July/August
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