It is obvious that profundity should be sought in preparation and matters of explanation and application. But what about presentation and delivery? Here are a few suggestions:
13. There is nothing profound in being dull, discouraging, distant or disconnected – cut that out. Some may assume that profound is the opposite of entertaining and therefore seek to be deliberately dour and detached. Apparently then the glory goes to God and not to the preacher. Apparently this path guarantees no manipulation. I disagree on both counts. I don’t think God is glorified by poor incarnational presentation of His Word. And I do think it is possible to manipulate by a detached intellectualism. We need to see preaching as an act of communication and recognize that communication is always more than content alone.
14. Profound impact usually requires genuine connection, so know that interpersonal aspects matter. I often mention that I wouldn’t buy a car from someone who won’t look at me, so surely that matters even more with something important like the truth of God’s Word. Eye contact, personal warmth, open gestures, facial expression, vocal variety, etc. These are all part of the package when a communicator connects effectively with a listener.
15. Profound impact often comes when there is an appropriate level of personal vulnerability and heartfelt conviction. When a passage is preached at arms length, with both the text and the message being an exhibit offered to the listeners, there will be a significant reduction in impact. When a passage has worked in and through a preacher, then the message can come through and from the preacher, and the communication can be both vulnerable and heartfelt.
16. Conviction, passion, enthusiasm, and so on, cannot be effectively faked. A stunning message learned verbatim and copied down to the last detail of delivery will not be the same as the original. Why? Because the copycat communicator cannot copy genuine conviction, and they cannot offer genuine personal passion through the mask of someone else’s message.
Tomorrow I’ll finish the series with a consideration of profound transformation – the goal in all of this. What would you add to this list?