What Can You Learn From Tony Evans & His Effectiveness In Preaching?

click here pt2   Tony Evans Pt #2

Straight to the point — after the previous article which may have brought you here.

#1) Analogical illustrations:

If you just cruise through Tony Evans Book of Illustrations” you will see that the pages are covered with illustrations which are not events or experience oriented but are analogical.

There may be many who do not understand that important distinction.  Many illustrations are about an event or an experience that someone had or even the speaker had in life.  Such is the case with a good number of “Today’s Illustration.”  They revolved around a historical event or person.

However, there is a difference between that kind of illustration and what I refer to as an analogical illustration.

On the first page of Tony Evans’ book, Evans calls up 3 analogical illustrations.  There are only four illustrations on the page!

√  Dinner plates left out overnight – hard to clean versus soaking the dishes — easier to clean when hanging out in the right environment.

√  The differences between the planet Mercury and the planet Pluto.  Mercy is hot because it is close to the sun.  The closer you get to — the further away from  — the “sun” the hotter things are.  Earth — you get seasons.  God is looking for Mercury Christians.

√ My phone began “beep-beep-beep” because the battery was low — then the phone went dead.  It had lost its power — running on spiritual empty and wonder why we are limping along.

Even the personal stories which are included as illustrations are flavored heavily with analogical comments — whether it be about his flying on American Airlines with a Platinum care or his personal enjoyment of the hot weather and temperatures in Dallas Texas – (pages 2-3) — his sets up and pulls down the analogies to the Christian life.


#2) Conversational: 

Tony Evans is conversational in tone.  He does not sound like he is preaching “at you,” but talking to you.

Do not think that you can tie yourself to a manuscript, or worse yet, read from a manuscript, and be effective.  This foolish argument which goes — “Jonathan Edwards was known to read from a manuscript and lead to some of the most historic revivals in American religious history.” — is the kind of thinking which leads to rhetorical suicide.

Just watch how different an audience responds when you go conversational and casual, and drop the use of a “preaching at you” style.  Observe what happens when you walk away from your notes and step in front of the pulpit, or walk down to the lower level.  “Just Sayin” — see for yourself!

Had someone tell me to listen to a particular preacher — and indeed he was an effective speaker.  Several weeks later, the individual who suggested listening actually decided to visit that church and hear him in person.  One of the first comments to me was —  “When we went to hear him it was obvious that he relies a lot on his manuscript — though he has become fairly good at not sounding like he is using a manuscript.

The fact that “he has become fairly good at not sounding like he is using a manuscript” points out that there is a recognizable vocal tone that accompanies the “writing versus speaking” and that a written style differs enough that it can be heard if not worked at to not sound like what it is.


#3) Vocal Expression:

Take the time to listen to Tony Evans preach.  His ability to use his voice — I am not speaking about his conversational style of delivery — but the vocal variety of his voice — holds your attention.

He is vocally expressive — pitch, pause, dragging out words, varied speed, vocal emphasis, etc.  He Uses His Voice

On the secular level, a simple comparison would be between Cabinet member Dr. Ben Carson versus Representative Trey Gowdy.  Which one would you rather listen to? — regardless of a mutual respect for both.

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