Craft

How Your Sermon Language Shapes Your Community (A Guest Post)

How Your Sermon Language Shapes Your Community (A Guest Post)

There may be more than one way you and your community relate to one another depending on circumstances. It’s likely that sometimes you preach as an authoritative teacher, and sometimes you speak from your position as a fellow Chirstian. But then ask yourself: how does the way I talk about myself and my community in my sermon signal those relationships?

Want to Preach Better? Write Better. (A Guest Post With a Giveaway & a Request)

Want to Preach Better? Write Better. (A Guest Post With a Giveaway & a Request)

As a writing instructor, I’ve discovered that preachers struggle with the things all writers struggle with. Purpose and audience, clarity and specificity, development of ideas, organization and structure. Planning their writing process. Generating ideas. Re-visioning their drafts. Polishing their sentences. And out of my experience teaching writers, I’ve created a free guide for preachers to help you generate more ideas and write more effectively.

Holy Week Sermons: Choose Your Words Wisely (A Guest Post)

Holy Week Sermons: Choose Your Words Wisely (A Guest Post)

There is a temptation, I feel, during seasons like Lent, Holy Week, or Advent, to lose our own way of communicating God's truths, in favor of covering all of our theological bases. We sometimes wish to be right more than we wish to be ourselves in the pulpit. One can do both. But it all depends on the words we choose.

Conversational Preaching: You have more sermon partners than you realize (a guest post)

Conversational Preaching: You have more sermon partners than you realize (a guest post)

Conversational preaching can mean many things for preachers. But, scholars of language have studied this topic and identified several necessary features that distinguish conversation from other kinds of speech. One obvious quality of conversation is that there is more than one participant. And while this may sound outlandish in a sermon, the the truth is, you already have more preaching partners than you realize.

Finding Courage to Preach in "The Purple Zone" (A Guest Post)

Finding Courage to Preach in "The Purple Zone" (A Guest Post)

Here’s the truth many clergy have shared with me: they are afraid to preach about issues of public concern.  They know their sermons should in some way address things like racism, homophobia, climate change, sexism, economic issues, or hatred of foreigners, for example.  But fear holds them back, keeps them quiet, and muzzles their prophetic voice. How can you preach when you are afraid?

Bridging the Language Gap in Sermons: Four Ways to Ensure “Church Words” are Meaningful to Your Listeners

Bridging the Language Gap in Sermons: Four Ways to Ensure “Church Words” are Meaningful to Your Listeners

There is a risk of misunderstanding when we use certain “church words.” We say a word, intending one meaning, but our listeners hear or interpret something else. How do we ensure our listeners actually understand what we mean? Consider these four approaches to bridge the divide.