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The mission of ChurchNext is to build healthy congregations by opening ourselves up to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit who's actively working in every denomination.

Chris Yaw Interviews Richard Cox: What Makes Sermons Memorable?

October 29, 2012

Taken with permission from ChurchNext.tv

 

Does our brain react differently to a sermon than any other kind of verbal communication? What makes sermons memorable? And how can we preach more memorable sermons?

These are questions that psychologist, theologian, and preacher Dr. Richard Cox explores in a new book called Rewiring Your Preaching in which he gives pointers to preachers about how the preaching experience can improve.

Recovering Christianity's 'braingates' is just one pointer this sage homilitician offers those of us who want to take preaching to the next level.

 

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Synopsis
There are differences in how our brain processes sermons. Here are my notes from the interview:

Braingates
These are environmental cues, like smell, touch, and sight, that traditional churches have preserved, other churches need to recover, and all churches need to emphasize to allow hearers to more fully embrace a sermon.

Keys to Delivering a Memorable Sermon
Sermons must first appeal to what the hearer already knows; must have first transformed the preacher before they can attempt to transform the listener; and must be preached with the conviction first felt in the preacher's life.

Most Congregations Are Made Up of Amateur Theologians
The most common, and frequent, mistake preachers make is to assume people want, and can understand, more than a simple, practical, Bible-based message.

About Richard H. Cox
Richard H. Cox (M.D., Ph.D., D.Min) is president emeritus of Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri, and teaches in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical School. He previously served on the faculties of Northwestern University Medical School and Rush University Medical School. An ordained clergyman in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Cox is the author of many journal articles and books, including The Sacrament of Psychology and Spirituality and Psychological Health.

 


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