Effective communication in online preaching

Earlier this week, I had a fantastically stimulating discussion with Bryan Wolfmeuller, Pastor of St Paul Lutheran Church, Austin Text, and Jesus Deaf Lutheran Church, about the challenges and opportunities of online communication. I previously linked some of his material, including his instructional video on tips for pastors when preaching online, in an earlier post. … Continue Reading

The many meanings of Pentecost

As we come to Pentecost, our main text (in the lectionary and for preaching) is Acts 2. At one level the text is straightforward: the Twelve are completed by the addition of Matthias; they wait with other disciples as Jesus had commanded; the Spirit comes; Peter preaches; and the ‘church’ is born. But it is … Continue Reading

Can we preach so people want to listen?

What do people in your congregation feel like just as the service reaches the time for the sermon? Do they have a sense of anticipation and expectation? Is it something that they are looking forward to? This is quite a personal question for preachers, and so something of a challenge, since there is much truth … Continue Reading

What can preachers learn from Michael Curry?

Aside from Meghan Markle’s dress, perhaps the most talked about feature of Saturday’s Royal Wedding was the sermon by Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church in the US. Curry was a rather sensitive choice as preacher, since he leads the church which, because of its change in its understanding of marriage, is held … Continue Reading

How effective is your preaching rhetoric?

As you reflect on another full (and possibly exhausting) day of ministry yesterday, have you considered whether your preaching was effective and persuasive? Will your listeners have been left with memorable phrases ringing in their ears which, as part of God’s speech to his people through your preaching, will do their work in effecting his … Continue Reading

Preaching: script or no script?

In 2014, Ed Miliband created some serious problems for himself and his credibility as Labour Party leader by failing to mention two key issues from his speech to the Labour Party conference in Manchester—one on immigration and the other on the budget deficit—and he later  admitted that he had forgotten his notes on the two topics … Continue Reading

To script or not to script?

Ed Miliband admitted this morning that he omitted two key sections from his speech to this year’s Labour Party conference in Manchester—one on immigration and the other on the budget deficit. How could he forget such important sections, when doing do inevitably leads to ruthless criticism? The answer is simple: he gave a 65-minute speech without … Continue Reading

The power of biblical metaphor

I recently came across a fascinating essay by George Orwell from 1946 on ‘Politics and the English Language.’ Orwell was such a remarkable character, with such insight, that anything he wrote is worth looking at. One of the most important things I did in my whole time in school was to have to read Animal Farm … Continue Reading