Category Archives for "Sermon Construction"
Have you ever really analyzed your illustrations? I suspect most preachers don’t. I did it one time and found that the vast majority of my illustrations were largely about men. They were mostly american stories. The ethnicity of the people were mostly either African American or not stated. They were largely about middle class people and their struggles…etc
Now when you look at who I preach to, does it correlate? Well some pieces do and some pieces do not. Now don’t get me wrong, a good story will transcend ethnicity, gender, age, and these other things and cause us to think about our humanity in relationship to the divine.
The other day I was listening to a preacher close a sermon about pain. The preacher preached about the very real struggle with pain and suffering that we all have to go encounter in this life. In typical African American style, the preacher closed the sermon with a “celebration.” Here the preacher resolved the pain by pointing to being “hooked-up.”
The preacher then looked through the congregation and talked about someone who lost a child, but now had another one. Someone lost a job, but now that one had a better job. There was someone who got diagnosed with a disease, but there was a misdiagnoses. And then the close came with “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Continue reading
In the African American Preaching Tradition the ability to “tell the story” is highly prized. It is also helpful when preaching to any ethnic group. There is something about stories that captures the imagination of the hearer in ways that no other method can. Stories grab the people and place them in the Bible story as they recognize parts of the story playing out in their own lives. Stories are powerful. However, how do we make the points of our sermon while keeping the integrity of the Bible story that we are preaching?