Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Note on Preaching Styles

During this new foray of mine into Christianity, I've been observing different preaching styles - both on TV and in person. I've come to understand why I like and follow some pastors, and why I dislike others. It has also helped me understand why - for most of my life - I never enjoyed going to church.

Some pastors deliver their message as if they were leading a protest. They scream with conviction, trying to impart on the audience their opinion. They might be talking about a good thing (God's love), but their voice sounds angry. Their passion for what they are trying to preach is delivered through the energy of hate.
I have always disliked those kinds of pastors. I don't think God's love (or anything positive for that matter) can flow through someone who is engulfed in such extreme negative emotions. It usually takes me very few seconds to mute or turn off the TV after they start speaking.

I've recently noticed other pastors who speak in a similarly aggressive tone, but out of desperation instead of anger. They almost scream as they try to impart on the audience how urgent and important it is to have a positive attitude, to trust God, etc. Their love and concern for their audience is delivered through a tone of worry and fear.
I also find it hard to feel the love of God flowing through someone who is so desperate and scared. I don't feel too inclined to hear the message being given by those kinds of preachers either.

Then there are the calm, natural preachers. They speak to their audience in a normal tone of voice, as if they were talking to a friend. They talk about positive things with a smile on their face. I've also noticed a couple of things in common with all of them: they always have a few jokes in the middle of their message, and they use their personal stories as examples for their own preaching.
In my opinion, it's easy to feel God's love flowing through someone who is relaxed and happy. It's easy to be inspired by someone who exhibits a positive composure. By sharing their own stories, flaws, struggles and successes, they incite feelings of empathy and hope. I am much more inclined to stop and listen to someone who is talking to me as a friend, making jokes and sharing their struggles.

In conclusion, I strongly believe that the way a preacher delivers their message is as important as the message itself - and it can make a difference between having followers or struggling to make their ministry grow.

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