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Preaching that resonates | W. David Phillips

Preaching that resonates

Starting next week, I want to begin a practical series on preaching. The role of the preacher is to communicate the message of God to others for the purpose of partnering with the Spirit to bring transformation in the lives of others. This isn’t something that happens automatically. It comes as we spend long and thoughtful hours with our people, our God, and the text of Scripture, constructing messages that resonate deeply and elicit empathy.

Preaching is not the communication of information. It is the expressing of a resonating, life-transforming message of God.

Resonance is a phenomenon in physics. If you know an object’s natural rate of vibration – and most every object has one – you can make it vibrate without touching it. Resonance occurs when an object’s natural vibration frequency responds to an external stimulus of the same frequency.

Resonance is similar to what happened to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in the 1940’s. The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge opened to traffic on July 1, 1940. Its main span collapsed into the Tacoma Narrows four months later on November 7, 1940 due to a physical phenomenon known as aeroelastic flutter caused by a 42 mph wind. Flutter is a self-feeding and potentially destructive vibration where aerodynamic forces on an object couple with a structure’s natural mode of vibration to produce rapid periodic motion.

Here’s an image of the bridge that day:

And a video of the actual collapse:

[tentblogger-youtube IqK2r5bPFTM]

When resonance occurs, people’s lives change, just like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

We have two options when communicating. We can adjust the frequency of the people so that the message resonates. Or we can adjust our message, tune our message so that it resonates with the people.

In this series I will look at topics such as:

  1. Understanding the people
  2. Determining what you will give them
  3. Creating common ground
  4. Providing a destination
  5. Developing the big idea
  6. Plan the journey
  7. Acknowledge the risk
  8. Address resistance by dealing with objections
  9. Make the reward worth it.

This process of sermon development is an adaptation of Nancy Duarte’s book on presentations called Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences.

See you next week!

David has been a systems thinker most of his life. He has started three businesses as well as designed and developed systems and processes in existing organizations. He has a Doctorate in Leadership and has also done additional post-graduate work in communications.

He has also pastored 3 churches and loves to think about, write about and podcast about scripture, theology, and leadership.

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