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PREACHING THAT OH-SO-DELICATE SUBJECT

Speaking on sex clearly and redemptively is one of the preacher's biggest challenges.

What can a preacher say about sex without embarrassing or offending the congregation? One pastor who has pondered that question and developed a strategy is Bill Hybels, who preaches regularly about sex-related topics at Willow Creek Community Church in suburban Chicago, a church structured to reach the nonchurched. Based on a conversation with this innovative communicator, this article explains his motivation and methods for speaking publicly about a very personal subject.

I once had a professor who asked, "How often do you entertain thoughts about prophecy?"

One student answered what most of us thought: "About twice a year-once around Christmas, and again some time around Good Friday when I hear Isaiah 53."

"Okay," the prof replied. "Now, how many times in a given day do you have sexual thoughts?" Silence. The professor had accomplished his purpose. How many times do you hear biblically relevant preaching on human sexuality-something people are thinking about all the time?

That question stuck ...

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