Preach the Word – January/February 2014

Volume 17, Number 3.

The “Ideal” Sermon

How would you define the “ideal” sermon? What are its characteristics? Church Growth authority C. Peter Wagner defined the ideal sermon as follows: “is not intellectual, but emotional; it is not rational, but experiential; it is not exegetical, but allegorical; it is not doctrinal, but practical; it is not directed as much to the head as to the heart.” Actually, the “ideal” sermon probably fits somewhere between Wagner’s extremes. Consider Paul’s reflections in 1 Corinthians 2 or 2 Corinthians 4. The ideal sermon is “head and heart” preaching.

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This article is a compilation of excerpts from several books on homiletics. The excerpts treat issues such as the use (or not) of rhetorical technique, the role of personality in preaching, theological depth, storytelling and homiletical construction. Each excerpt closes with a couple of questions designed to probe the thought of the piece.

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God’s Treasure.. From a Clay Jar: 2 Peter 1:16-19

This is an excerpt of a Transfiguration sermon based on an epistle text from 2 Peter. As the closing episode of Epiphany, before the difficult journey of Lent, it is important to highlight the glory of this “mountaintop experience.” The scene provided confidence before the cross. Peter emphasizes the absolute truth of his eyewitness experience.

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