The Shout Aint Enough

Great preaching must engage the mind. I don’t know how many times I have heard a preacher get up there and simply attempt to engage the emotions. These preachers get a shout but don’t help the people in reality. Too often the congregation simply lets them off the hook. Don’t let someone serve you slop week after week and then throw sugar on top. Dung is dung even if there is a celebration at the end.

No great preaching requires solid exegesis. It requires an interaction with the scripture. This is not your one minute glance for something to shout about, but an internal look for what God is saying to lead this congregation forward.

But yes, great preaching does have an emotive dimension. No matter how great your content is, if you are not excited by it, how can you expect someone else to be. Great preaching requires an interaction with truth that is so real that it jumps off the page into the feet, head, heart, and hands of the preacher. And then after having done that, the people will be able to say “I looked at my hands, and they looked new, I looked at my feet, and they did to.

Great preaching must engage the head and the heart. It is time for preachers to stop shirking their duty and to be true to both. Is that not why God called you?




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walt - August 18, 2010 Reply

Sister Watson has made an accurate observation. Great preaching engages the mind and the heart. In an attempt to be popular too many preachers over work the emotional aspects and neglect speaking to the mind.
walt, Preaching With Power

Joseph Deck - August 20, 2010 Reply

Katie Watson has written to the place that deserves our attention. Often times preachers will appeal to emotional outburst and sensational dialogue that masquerades as authentic faith experiences.

I love black preaching, the celebration, the style, but it is our duty to empower the people through study, time, prayer, spiritual disciplines, exegetical techniques that makes the great eternal truths relevant for today!


Joseph Deck
Minister to Men
Reid Temple AME Church

Michael Bethune - August 21, 2010 Reply

Indeed Katie Watson has hit the ball out of the park with this timely,an all so necessary piece. This topic is something that much of my life is centered around, specifically as it relates to helping people to see the dangerous folly in this kind of preaching.

I believe that [for the preacher and the congregants] the euphoria that is achieved as a result of this kind of preaching can be equated to that of someone getting “high” on artificial substances. Clinically speaking, the same brain chemicals are released in both circumstances, which is what eventually creates an addiction. So it might be safe to say that the danger in this kind of “emotionalism-based” preaching is that, instead of “making disciples”, it produces “church addicts” that unfortunately spend the bulk of their Christian lives showing up on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s just to get high.

God help us,if indeed we are to ever really become “the light of the world.” – Michael Bethune

rick - August 24, 2010 Reply

Katie Watson writes on one hand that “no great preaching requires solid exegesis” and on the other hand adds that great preaching “requires interaction with the scripture.” Isn’t she contradicting herself? I do not know of any other effective way to interact with the scripture except via solid exegesis and of course through practical application.

KATIE WATSON - August 24, 2010 Reply


Rick, I inadvertently left out the comma so it should read “no, great preaching requires solid exegesis,” however I think that the context and a fair reading of the thrust of the article demonstrates that is my meaning. We are in agreement, just read the whole article. Don’t allow a punctuation mistake to change the meaning of the whole article.

Thomas McClendon, Sr - August 29, 2010 Reply

I really appreciate the article from Sister Watson. If we preacher stop trying to get the people to shout and cry and begin to think, there’s a strong possibility of their life changing for the better. Then they can shout and cry that God is good because, they’ll know what they are crying and shouting about.

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