Transforming Preaching: The Sermon as a Channel for God's Word Paperback – 1 May 2013
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'Transforming Preaching is a beautifully clear, wise and practical book, which will guide those who are learning to preach and refresh those who have been preaching for many years. In a time when preaching's educational value is sometimes dismissed, I especially welcome the author's reclamation of preaching as an event through which genuine learning can and should take place. I recommend it without hesitation to all who want their preaching to serve the process of human transformation.' --Stephen I. Wright, Tutor in Biblical Studies and Practical Theology, Spurgeon's College, London
'Drawing on his considerable expertise in the field of adult learning, David Heywood develops a view of preaching as an agent of change. He is not interested in sermons that keep congregations occupied for fifteen minutes but make no lasting difference to the reality of their discipleship or the quality of their community life. This is a thoughtful and well-argued book that shows, with a wealth of practical examples, how preaching can play a major part in the transformation of the church.' --David Day, Tutor, The College of Preachers, Nottingham
'Accessible, practical, challenging and profound, Transforming Preaching is a 'must' for anyone who preaches, who wants to preach, and who wants to preach in fresh and creative ways . . . The sermon is an event and David Heywood makes that event life-giving and life-changing in this new and exciting book.' --The Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, Dean for the New Zealand Dioceses at the College of St John the Evangelist, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand
About the Author
David Heywood is Director of Pastoral Studies at Ripon College Cuddesdon.
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You cannot expect to preach effectively if you don't know your con¬gregation. And you will not get to know them unless you love them. Nor will the congregation give you authority as a preacher and be open to listen to what you say unless you love them. In the words of John Maxwell, 'People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care'. Moreover, without love you will not be able to get the message for your sermons week by week. Only if you love your congregation will you be able to hear from God what he wants to say to them. Only if you love them will you have the authority to say the hard things that may be necessary from time to time.Read more ›
His book loses this initial momentum in the third chapter on how to preach. The advice is good, notably the `two horizons' of interpretation, but it is concentrated. It probably needs to be worked through using either the suggested exercises or in some real sermon preparation.
Heywood apologises in advance for the `schizophrenic' (sic) discontinuity between the last chapter on interaction and the preceding chapters. And it certainly does seem to contradict most of what has gone before. However, this may be because I couldn't work out exactly what Heywood is advocating. Is it interaction to encourage participation or the sermon as a facilitated discussion? If the latter, I have a problem. Maybe it wouldn't happen in one of Heywood's churches, but, it is (just) possible that the self-righteous and over-confident would seize the opportunity to promote their obvious and superficial `insights'.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
You cannot expect to preach effectively if you don't know your con¬gregation. And you will not get to know them unless you love them. Nor will the congregation give you authority as a preacher and be open to listen to what you say unless you love them. In the words of John Maxwell, 'People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care'. Moreover, without love you will not be able to get the message for your sermons week by week. Only if you love your congregation will you be able to hear from God what he wants to say to them. Only if you love them will you have the authority to say the hard things that may be necessary from time to time.
This also means letting people get to know you, for which you need to meet them in their homes, chat about their daily lives, know the problems that face them in work and family life. Some pastors, whose full-time work is Christian ministry, occasionally spend a morning or even a whole day at work with members of their congregation, getting to know them in the setting where they spend so much of their lives, gaining insights into the problems they face day by day. Without mentioning particular people and situations, except with their permission, all this information will help you when seeking to apply the message of the Bible to situations in people's everyday lives. Any preaching ministry is built on a foundation of pastoral care and concern in which you learn to love the people who listen to your sermons week by week and they learn to respect and trust you.
No congregation is homogeneous so generalizations may easily catch you out. But you will need to know about your congregation's general level of understanding of the Bible so as to judge for any given passage how much background information they need in order to understand it. You will need to know about the makeup of the congregation: do they come from similar or diverse backgrounds? Do they have similar or varying levels of education? Are they of much the same income group or are there wide divergences? You will need to know the 'style' of faith prevalent in the church. Do people tend to believe a person in authority such as you; or do they expect to believe only when they have the chance to think something out for themselves?