Rhetoric & Homiletics: The #1 Prerequisite To Better Preaching

Snap-on tools 4    Does This Truck Catch Your Attention?

Yancy Arrington states what many already people painfully realize . . .  .

Too many preachers take for granted that their Sunday morning delivery needs little improvement.  They may think to themselves, “Hey, I got the role of preacher in the first place.  Surely that means I’m relatively good at delivery.  Avoid this false presumption — there are churches all across the nation led by individuals who can’t preach. 

Arrington states that purpose of his book is that the preacher, whose life revolves around communication, will . . . .

“wind up hitting more wonder shots than duffs.  This book is designed to help you find more fairways and less sand traps, to hit the ball straighter and farther, and to leverage your preaching gifts in a way that hopefully leaves you more encouraged and less anxious after you step away from the pulpit each week.”

Unfortunately, Arrington and others who address preaching, are facing a widely held belief that it is unbiblical to address the pragmatics of preaching, the mechanics of communication.  As Arrington states, such attempts are perceived as “gimmicks over God, strategies over Spirit,” which are “less than biblical.”

In fact, even the title of Arrington’s book (“Preaching That Moves People,” no less its subtitle) will reflexively upset some, and deter others from even considering looking at it, no less purchasing it!

There are those speakers and preachers who are highly effective communicators from the “start.”  They are exceptional and also few in number, and most of us are not them!

They may not fully understand what makes them so effective.  They may not be able to teach others how to do what they are doing.  But they are just naturally good and exceptionally gifted preachers.

While most of us are not them, that does not mean we cannot and should not improve.  There are some practical communication skills which can be learned.  Else, why would a seminary education ever include “Homiletics I, II, III?”  What would be the purpose of books, seminars, conferences, interviews, podcasts —  on “Preaching?”

While most of us may never be as effective as that naturally good and exceptionally gifted preacher, we can make some meaningful and significant steps in that direction.

Yet, a suspicious attitude lurks in the background when the pragmatics of communication is presented.

Those in the “trades” understand the value of tools. The “Snap-On Tool” truck catches their attention and interest because they know that tools make all the difference. You don’t need to use a screwdriver as a chisel or a nail-set.  There are even specialty tools designed for this-or-that particular task or trade.

Likewise, there are practical tools which accompany and make for effective communication.  There are changes in thinking, approach, structure, preparation, presentation, etc. which can and would improve one’s effectiveness in the art and science of preaching!


The #1 Prerequisite Of Effective Communication:


Preaching is not a choice between  . . . .

relying on the work of the sovereign Spirit of God
working on how to effectively communicate. 


Avoid this false dichotomy because the by-product of such thinking is that “there are churches all across the nation led by individuals who can’t preach.”

It is “Both-And.” 

It is relying on both God’s sovereignty and human responsibility.

If you don’t have that vantage, you may never spend the needed time and energy to add more and more tools to the communication toolbox.

There Is Way More Than A Hammer & A Screwdriver!

See the source image


If you don’t have that vantage . . . .

The “Snap-On Tools Truck”
of Rhetorical & Homiletical Principles
will not catch your attention or interest!



Preaching That Moves People — How to get down the mountain of your message with maximum impact,” by Yancy Arrington

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