Audience Sensitivity

The Shepherd-Preacher: Understanding the Audience as Sheep

Sheep in biblical times were essential to the culture for religious sacrifices, food, and clothing. They were commonplace to many of the authors of scripture.[1]Henry Chichester Hart, The Animals Mentioned in the Bible (London: The Religious Tract Society, 188... Read More »

Trying New Delivery Methods

Even with a commitment to expository preaching that is faithful to the biblical text, there is nothing in the pages of scripture that mandates the preacher preaching every sermon in the same exact mode of delivery. Indeed, there may be times when the occasion ... Read More »

Exegeting Your Audience

When my wife and I moved to Seattle, Washington, in 2015 to plant a church, we realized we must understand what our people loved if we were to love our city well.  Seattleites love their pro teams.  So, we jumped on the bandwagon and began going to Seattle M... Read More »

Matters of Apologetics

You sit in your office beginning to prepare your sermon. Maybe you’ve done this hundreds of times. Maybe you’re just getting started in your ministry. Whatever the case may be, this time feels different, because you know that what you’re about to preach ... Read More »

Preaching that Forges the Church’s Identity

My pastor and mentor in the ministry told me, “Always put some of the cookies on the bottom shelf.” I tell my own students, “One goal is for the kindergarten kid to be able to tell mommy and daddy at lunch exactly what your sermon was about.” Clarity i... Read More »

Communicating the “Cash Value” of Your Sermon

We barely notice the cough medicine on the shelf until the day the allergies hit. We don’t give a second look to the gas station until the needle points toward empty. And the car commercials? We flip the channel until our clunker finally gives up the ghost a... Read More »

4 Ways to Avoid Emotional Manipulation

In Part 1, we defined manipulation as shrewd or devious influence that seeks one’s own advantage. Biblical persuasion and emotional manipulation are often confused for the simple fact that they are differentiated by intent. A preacher’s passionate plea for... Read More »

Manipulation vs. Persuasion

“Please stand for the reading of God’s Word.” There it is: manipulation. Before you disagree, let’s get technical. Manipulation is the action of operating, arranging or controlling something or someone else. Any behavioral modification you influence as... Read More »

Engaging the Audience’s Emotions

C. W. Brister,[1]C. W. Brister was a professor of Pastoral Ministry at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX for 47 years. During this time it was said that Brister instructed more men in pastoral ministry than any other in the history of... Read More »

Cutting Unnecessary Details from Your Study

One of my favorite television shows from my childhood was Full House, which chronicled the life of a widower Danny Tanner, his three daughters (D.J., Stephanie, and Michelle), brother-in-law Jesse Katsopolis, and his childhood best friend Joey Gladstone as the... Read More »