Tag Archives: communicators

He Stopped the Sermon

After many years in the pulpit, Steve Simms gave up preaching. He turned the floor over to his congregation. And he’s never looked back. Every Sunday at Berry Street Worship Center in Nashville, Tennessee, the faithful gather to hear and share personally what God is doing in their lives. It’s unscripted, and often surprising. Simms says, […]

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When Preaching the Word…Isn’t

Pastor Duane unloaded. “I don’t need to revolutionize the sermon time. I don’t need to entertain. I just preach the Word. Period. People need to sit and listen to the unadulterated Word of God proclaimed from my pulpit.” That was Pastor Duane’s reaction to an announcement about a new book that suggests some ways to make sermon times more effective. Allow me […]

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Done with ‘Sit Down and Shut Up’

People are leaving their churches because they feel excluded. Excluded from participating in the communication of the message. This is one of the unanticipated findings in sociologist Josh Packard’s research on the Dones–formerly active church members who have walked away from all institutional religion. These are people who have heard countless sermons. They tend to […]

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An Epiphany for Lecture-Loving Pastors

The evidence mounts. The lecture style of teaching produces inferior results. A study reported in Scientific American exposes, again, how academia’s hardened use of the lecture method is stifling learning and growth. The journal’s writer put in bluntly: “If you’re going to college and you’re going to a whole bunch of lecture classes that require […]

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Lost After 6 Minutes

The evidence mounts. We’re learning why so much preaching and teaching produces thin results in the lives of the recipients. It’s not due to the speaker’s lack of charisma, or failure to prepare, or theological imprecision. It’s not due to the irrelevance of the message itself. It’s as relevant as ever. Rather, it’s due to […]

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Dumb Questions Heard in Church

No wonder most people walk away from church with little to show for it. Recent Barna research revealed that most people (61 percent) cannot recall gaining any spiritual insights the last time they attended church. Part of the problem stems from uninspiring content—answering questions no one is asking. (I recently sat through a sermon about […]

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How to Waken Comatose Listeners

The 30-minute lecture (a.k.a. sermon) anesthetizes the audience every week. As I reported in my last post, most people remember very little of the typical sermon after a few days. Few show any life change as a result of the oratory. Yet preachers keep following the same old protocol week after week. A pastor friend […]

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