Third in a series on preaching

Third in a series on preaching

WARNING: This is a post primarily for preachers. Readers who are not preachers most likely shall be bored beyond belief, because this is “shop-talk” about the art and craft of preaching.

A seasoned mechanic knows the “how,” the nuts-and-bolts of machines. There are many principles and rules determining how a motor works. The same is true of preaching and preachers. David Buttrick’s Homiletic: Moves And Structures endeavours to make preachers more conscious of the “how to” principles and rules of preaching and sermons. Here is more advice from Professor Buttrick on what to avoid in preaching and sermons and how to prepare and deliver sermons. If you agree with Buttrick and practice all or most of his advice, bless you! If not, then argue with him, test his advice, learn and grow in your preaching, and bless you too!

Avoid conceptual words, vague general terms like: goals, relationships, situations, desires, and the like. Instead use visual images or analogy. Instead of: In our homes, in daily life, we do not take time for God or prayer. Use language like this: At home, around a kitchen table, or when it’s tuck-in-time for bed, we don’t bow our heads much, do we?

Instead of flat verbs like look, see, or realize, revise, removed, omitting, spoke, use colour verbs having visual character like: peer, scan, peek, stare, study, puzzle, probe, gaze, take in, grasp, catch on, make out, savvy, penetrate, set out to, edit, scrapping, scratched, fit to scribble, frame, hand out, and the like. Use adjectives very sparingly, they only snuff out comprehension. Verbs & nouns are strong; adverbs have some power; but, orally, adjectives are weak words. Use pronouns like: you, we, us rather than human beings, or people. Use present tense and active voice most of the time, use passive voice when we are not concerned with agency or wish to imply indirect agency. Use mostly short, clear sentences, although mixing short with longer sentences works and is normal in ordinary speech.





About dimlamp
I am, among other things, a sojourner, a sinner-saint, a baptized, life-long learner and follower of Jesus, and Lutheran pastor. Dim Lamp: gwh photos:

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