Why do we care about a story’s shape? If Christ has redeemed all, ensuring every story ends above baseline, what is the purpose of exploring what comes before? We ask different questions—and discover different answers—when we're honestly following the story's shape into every moment.
If your experience is like mine, you’ve never preached in a political and cultural climate as volatile and unpredictable as the one we face in the U.S. right now. How do we preach the unifying love of Christ when many are divided? How do we preach peace in the face of vitriol? How do we preach dignity when displays of disrespect are paraded as badges of honor?
Ending a sermon with “Amen” is both redundant and ill-fitting with the purpose of a sermon. In truth, though, most preachers aren’t worried about these technicalities when they finish with “Amen.” They simply don’t know how else to conclude. Consider these five types of conclusions for a more effective close instead.
Now that the the candy's eaten, the dishes are washed, and the schedule has settled back into something resembling normalcy, take a few minutes to reflect on your Easter sermon. Was it effective? How would you know? Using BsP's 6-elements of an effective sermon, see where you excelled and where you can grow for your next sermon.
Not since the Civil Rights era have preachers been so called upon to discern and proclaim what it means to follow Jesus Christ and love one’s neighbor as oneself.
With so many competing viewpoints, so many people unwilling to dialogue, and so much fear driving people apart, how can preachers proclaim the dignity of every human being in a way it can be heard by people on both sides of the divide?
As preachers, we all strive for:
- a compelling introduction
- a clear message
- great stories that help our listeners connect abstract concepts to lived experience
- and a message that leaves the building with them
Because these elements help move the listener toward an encounter with the Living Word.
But sometimes, good sermon practices aren't enough.
As preachers, we may also need to remove obstacles that cast a shadow on people's experience of grace, truth, and love.