Friday, November 29, 2013

Willimon, 1984, chapter 6 "Giving the Word: Sermon Delivery"

Chapter 6 “Giving the Word: Sermon Delivery” pp. 77-89

Willimon now speaks about delivering the sermon. A sermon is ultimately not a literary piece, such as a written meditation or a scholarly commentary. He suggests that few lay people follow the sermon as a presentation of ideas. Rather, people follow the way the sermon is communicated. Willimon advocates capturing the way a biblical passage passes an idea to the hearer. The preacher can then imitate God’s delivery of the message. As an example he uses Matthew 7:24-27, observing that there is no ongoing explanation of the fall of the house built on sand. It falls down and the story is over. The listener is free to make application. Willimon also suggests listening to other sermons, critiquing one’s own work, and being very concrete and conscious of the congregation’s culture and language. He speaks briefly about delivery - voice, pacing, posture, and positioning in front of the congregation. In the end, he lets us out of class telling us to practice carefully, frequently, aloud, and in the worship space. By God’s grace, we can be faithful in delivering the Word of God to those who will hear.

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