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How Culture Shapes Sermons

Recent books on culturally distinct preaching challenge misconceptions and equip diverse pastors to better address a multiethnic world.
How Culture Shapes Sermons
Image: Illustration by Rick Szuecs / Source image: MHJ / Getty

In the mid-1980s, as a new believer fresh out of college, I attended a Sandi Patti concert. I’ll never forget the lesson she taught the audience that night. After recounting her fitful childhood attempts to imitate popular female artists, she admitted that “no one really paid attention until I found my own voice. People weren’t interested in the next someone who already existed. My career took off when I began to sing like me.”

Pastors, too, can fall into an imitation trap. This is especially true today, given that anyone with an internet connection can watch the best preachers across the globe showcase their gifts. But artful, effective preaching isn’t mainly a matter of finding someone you admire and crafting your sermons to fit that mold. At some level, you have to factor in your own unique personality and cultural background. In other words, who you are should inform how you preach.

As ministry experts Matthew D. Kim and Daniel L. Wong suggest in Finding ...

May/June
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