Premature Celebration

Assorted BalloonsOne of the interesting problems in some preaching is a premature celebration. The people are with the preacher and she or he has the church moving towards a powerful end. But then something happens and the people are lost and disoriented. Often this problem comes from a premature celebration.

The premature celebration happens when the preacher does not take care to move the sermon to a climax by presenting progressively intense points until the end of the sermon. You can hear it when the “shout” happens in the middle of the sermon and then the people find it hard to remember what happened after that.

Preachers should take care to move the sermon forward. And this movement forward is in its emotive reception. Don’t just throw out points in any order. Preachers must have in mind a reason for everything that the preacher does.

I am not saying that there should only be a shout at the end of the sermon. However, I am saying that your “shout” at the end of your sermon should be greater than all the other mini “celebration points” in the sermon. If you do that, then at least the end of the sermon will be remembered. And the end is connected properly to the rest of the sermon, then the people will remember the sermon and be ready to live out its implications throughout the rest of the week.

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Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

Posted in General, Preaching

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Revised Common Lectionary
Proper 14 (February 26, 2017)
  • OT: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
  • Psalm: Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b
  • Epistle: Romans 10:5-15
  • Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33
Af Am Heritage Lectionary
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