Where Do You Preach From – Part 2

Continuing the list from last time, I’m contemplating why a preacher may seem to be emotionally or spiritually a couple of feet back from where their body and mouth appear to be – that sense of distance or aloofness that undermines good engaging preaching.

4. The preacher may be nervous and so suffering from presentation freeze. It’s simple.  Nerves freeze the vocal range, facial expressions and body language of the preacher.  Maybe nerves have frozen the delivery into a “safe” zone that comes across as stilted, dispassionate and distant.

5. The preacher may be feeling hypocritical due to personal sin.  This probably isn’t one to ponder on behalf of another (unless you know something).  But it is worth praying through personally.  We should all ask the Lord to search and try our hearts to see if there be any wicked way in us.

6. The preacher may be dour in personality.  I don’t mean to be rude, but some preachers are just plain dull people.  Not sure what to suggest, but do try to reflect the joy, enthusiasm, love, laughter, expression and life that is fitting for one representing our God!

7. The listener may be struggling to engage and projecting the issue onto the preacher. It is entirely possible that it isn’t an issue with the preacher at all, but rather the listener.  Then again, if more than one listener points out that you seem distant when you preach, it probably isn’t them!

There might be other reasons too.  Perhaps the amplification isn’t set at the right level.  Perhaps the lighting isn’t working to full effect.  What else might cause this issue, and how can we overcome it?  After all, surely we would all rather be effectively communicating and fully engaging to listeners?

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One thought on “Where Do You Preach From – Part 2

  1. I have found that the classic answer to the “dour” personality of #6 above is to berate the sheep for supposedly craving entertainment; being too unspiritual to sit through the message attentively; obviously not being satisfied that the Bible is exciting enough by itself, etc. The attitude is, yes, I am personally boring and my delivery may be the driest of lifeless monotones, but shame on you for wanting something better.

    Then again, there’s no worse advice than to recommend that the preacher adopt some false, put-on personality in the pulpit. We’ve all cringed through the man trying too hard to be humorous and light-hearted.

    The real error of the dour, dull sort of man in the pulpit was in the elders and mentors who kept encouraging him to press toward pulpit ministry. Teach a class; write books; but don’t inflict yourself on the flock, sir.

    (Climbing down from my hobby-horse now.)

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