Jump directly to the Content

SERMONS FOR HEAD AND HEART

Effective preaching feeds both the mind and the emotions.

Effective preaching feeds both the mind and the emotions.

Like most seminarians of my era, I was taught an essentially intellectual approach to preaching: analyze a passage and deliver the fruit of your study. I remember my professor of pastoral theology, a man whom I still hold in highest regard, telling us, "One should never use a personal illustration, because it can make the sermon too emotional and the minister too much a part of the sermon: 'I, I, I.'"

For seven or eight years into my preaching ministry, I never used personal illustrations. But slowly I began to see that honest emotion is part of life, that the most powerful sermons always give people both something to think about and something to feel.

I'd been warned that appealing to the emotions would lead to manipulative preaching. But I found preaching that ignores emotion also has its dangers. If you do nothing in sermons but give information, if you don't move people, they become Pharisees. They sit back and have all the facts, ...

December
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
The Block Party Church
The Block Party Church
Looking for how God is already at work opened new ministry opportunities in our neighborhood.
From the Magazine
Cambodian Spies Were Watching Me. So Was Someone Else.
Cambodian Spies Were Watching Me. So Was Someone Else.
After escaping the Khmer Rouge with my siblings, I learned who had been protecting me all along.
Editor's Pick
Forget Charisma. Look for the Weak and the Slow.
Forget Charisma. Look for the Weak and the Slow.
Pete Scazzero discusses how pastors can identify and train healthy leaders.
close