From the helpful blog Pelton on Preaching by Randal Emory Pelton. Here are three Rewiring Your Preaching: How the Brain Processes Sermons (IVP). I think they are extremely helpful.takeaways he gives form Richard H. Cox’s book,
One. Repeating key theological and practical concepts is helpful in making disciples. On page 35 Cox writes,
“Specific brain changes result from repetitive learning….The brain responds to repetition.”
That helped me because I often shy away from any kind of repetition. I tell myself repeatedly, “They already heard this before” or “They already know this.” I didn’t realize how valuable repetition is for transformation into Christlikeness.
Two. Anyone who addresses the congregants, such as pastors or song leaders, needs to help them take their attention off the temporal and place its squarely on the eternal. Cox states that parishioners…
“must make the neural switch from daily problem solving to thinking about eternal matters if they are to hear and listen” (page 46).
Our listeners don’t make that switch automatically when they enter the church service. I need to do a better job helping them make that switch with cues such as: “We’ve all arrived having spent an entire work week in the daily grind. It’s time to spend some minutes together thinking about God and the world He is creating for us.”
Three. Our sermons must contain critical matters in God’s Word and help our parishioners realize those words are critical. On page 73 Cox writes,
“The sermon must contain things that we must hear. It must also convince us that we need to hear those things.”
Of course, it takes some effort to convince some of our listeners that the Word of God is a “must hear” kind of communication. Actually, that is God’s job of creating ears that can hear. Our job is to make sure our sermon contains His Word, not our opinions. Our own faith and intensity can help our listeners realize how desperately we need to hear from God.
Before Sunday, keep these three things in mind so God receives glory in the church and in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:21).
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