Refusing to Serve Dessert

saladplateWhen I talk about whooping or celebration, some preachers take exception to the idea that we should spend time on such things. They argue that we should just get up there and preach the truth and not worry about the emotional side of things.

Some of these preachers are not consistent in their problems with elements of preaching style. They attack whooping, but they use alliteration. They may have a problem with squalling, but they use runs. They seem to attack some elements, but are not consistent. These preachers should seek to understand why they are comfortable with allowing some forms but not other forms of spice in their sermons.

However, there are some preachers who are very consistent in their attacks on any kind of additives to a sermon that they think might lead away from the intellectual understanding of the sermon. Many of these preach sermons that are meant to be religious lectures. The people should bring their notebook handy and take extensive notes. Application might be added on, but largely it is left as a “exercise for the hearer.”

In contrast, the preacher who serves desert recognizes that we preach to more than just the head. We definitely need to break down intellectual truth, but we also must preach in such a way that we can address the whole being. We work with the spirit to allow the people to both experience and remember the truths. We do that by having a celebrative conclusion that is related to the points in the sermon. When we do that, the people remember and experience the power of the messages and are more likely to live them in their daily lives.

We don’t change the truth to make it palatable, we make the truth understandable to heart, mind, and spirit, by addressing all aspects in our sermons. And we add that celebration to make sure that all of this happens. So don’t forget the desert, or your people might miss the meal!

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Sherman Haywood Cox II

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.

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Pastor Sylvester Warsaw, Jr. - January 27, 2010 Reply

One of the things I experienced in seminary was that White preacher were trying to emulate Black preachers and Black preachers were trying to emulate White preachers. The knowledge that God gives surpass any intellectual endeavor. Intellectual knowledge must take a back seat to the knowledge God gives. God uses the total person and not just the intellect. I’ll even go so far as to say that people are alike bases on the region they live in. I’ve heard Southern White preachers and their preaching style is different from Northern White preachers. My position is this the best preachers can stimulate the intellect and the emotion. So whoop on my brother. There is nothing like the celebration that summons up the sermon. That’s when the preacher gets the opportunity to testify to the fact of how good God is has been and going to continue to be.

Chris Garcia - January 12, 2011 Reply

Can you give an example of desert?

Sherman Haywood Cox II - January 12, 2011 Reply

I am just using the term “desert” using a metaphor of a meal. Simply put, what I mean is celebration….

Sara - January 17, 2011 Reply

I’m sorry but it’s the teacher and helper in me….don’t you mean ‘dessert’?

Sherman Haywood Cox II - January 17, 2011 Reply

lol…you are correct and I fixed it…no need to apologize…I really need to get some editing help, but didn’t want to stop posting until the help arrived…

God bless and keep at it!!

Sara - January 22, 2011 Reply

And God bless you. Since you were so favorable in your response..lol..I’ll try to “help” where I can. It’s part of why we’re here, right?

Keep doing what you do to help others gain insight.

Roger B. Abuloc - January 30, 2011 Reply

Definitely,a complete meal consists of a main course, perhaps a side dish, and then the dessert. It if often forgotten that celebration is part and parcel of an effective sermon. Without it, a sermon may be understood but lacks the punch titillating the heart, mind and spirit.

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