Tone Deaf Preaching

You won’t hear me starting a chorus in public.  Tone deaf.  But what about preaching?  Is there a need for aural sensitivity in the preacher?  I think there is, absolutely.

What is the tone of the text?  Some preachers deal with texts as flat data sets offering them a set of information from which to draw a textually rooted sermon (which is better than those who use the text as a springboard to bounce off to reach the heights of their own constructed sermonizing!)  But if we are going to be genuinely biblical preachers, then we must develop a sensitivity for the tone of the text.  Galatians 1 is very different from Philippians 4, which is neither Psalm 51 nor Isaiah 40.  What is the tone of the text?  Without sensitivity to the tone, you aren’t grasping a text properly.

What is the tone of your preaching?  It doesn’t matter how good a sermon may be on paper, your congregation have to hear you preach it.  This means how it comes across is very important.  If you are consistently coming across as nagging, or edgy, or aggressive, or disrespectful, or patronizing, or prideful . . . and if you don’t know it, this is a problem.  Ask for honest feedback.  Listen to yourself.  Watch yourself.  Is the tone what you want it to be?  Is the tone what the text suggests?  Is the tone what they need it to be?

The tone of the text.  The tone of the preacher.  Some preachers seem tone deaf to both.  Good preachers aren’t.

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One thought on “Tone Deaf Preaching

  1. Good ideas. After all, if the presentation is a conduit for the advancement of the message, probably a good idea to give a lot of thought to the presentation!

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