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Hear and Be Wise: Becoming a Preacher and Teacher of Wisdom [Kindle Edition]

Alyce M. McKenzie
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Kindle Price: $21.00

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Book Description

Empowers the preacher to understand the role of wise leader to which he or she has been called, and to claim that role with conviction and joy.

Pastors are called to an exciting ministry of proclamation and leadership. That excitement, however, often turns to demoralization and burnout as pastors become increasingly uncertain of what their role is supposed to be. Competing claims by the congregation, the denomination, and society about who and what the pastor is supposed to be breed confusion and disappointment.  Are they primarily managers? Therapists? Fundraisers?
A way out of this confusion lies in reclaiming the biblical understanding of who the pastor is. One of the biblical roles within the pastoral vocation that often goes neglected is that of wise teacher or sage. Scripture presents as a model of pastoral leadership those who interpret the word and will of God for daily living. Especially in their preaching, pastors are called to help the congregation understand their place in God’s world.
In this book, Alyce McKenzie lays out the four qualities of the wise teacher–the bended knee, the listening heart, the cool head, and the courageous voice–and encourages pastors to make each of these integral to their ministry and vocation. She goes on to demonstrate that the sermon is the prime opportunity to function in the role of wise teacher. She offers strategies for applying biblical wisdom to all areas of everyday life. The strategies include: (1) Preaching that is as sensory as life is; using imagery, metaphor, simile, and story to connect  with people’s emotions as well as their intellect.
(2) Preaching that uses first-person experiences without being narcissistic. (3) Preaching that teaches without boring. (4) Preaching on public, often controversial issues that minimizes defensiveness and maximizes dialogue.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rev. Dr. Alyce M. McKenzie, Associate Professor of Homiletics, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texax

Product Details

  • File Size: 547 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (September 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0045U9WHI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,195,984 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grappling with reality.... October 19, 2010
I have found this book to be very informative as well as easy reading. McKenzie parses elements of biblical sagacity and presents them in a most understandable fashion with minimum-to-zero jargon. This is the first hermeneutic discourse that I've read that focused on "subversion" specifically. As preachers and teachers we are most certainly all familiar with it, but never have I encountered such a detailed approach to its implementation. The text also contains a voluminous amount of pertinent commentary drawn from McKenzie's interviews with working pastors and preachers. This commentary illuminates the real life application of the preaching principles set forth as well as the wisdom of the workers in the field. Wisdom literature is discussed in the context of its ability to subvert oppressive social structures, attitudes and practices. McKenzie takes an objective, professional approach to her work here. Therefore, I would caution the very conservative Christian reader to approach this book with an open mind.
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More About the Author

Alyce McKenzie is a popular author, teacher, workshop leader, and preacher. A native of Pennsylvania, she is an ordained United Methodist pastor who served churches in Central and Eastern Pennsylvania for several years before moving to Dallas, Texas in 1999 to teach preaching at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. She was recently promoted to the George W. and Nell Ayers LeVan Endowed Chair of Preaching and Worship effective in June 2011.

She received her BA in the history of religions from Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, her Master of Divinity degree from the Divinity School of Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, and her Ph.D in "theology and communication in preaching" from Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey.

In addition to numerous articles in both scholarly and professional journals, Dr. McKenzie has written three books relating biblical wisdom to contemporary values: Preaching Proverbs: Wisdom for the Pulpit (1996), Preaching Biblical Wisdom in a Self-Help Society (2004), and Hear and Be Wise: Becoming a Teacher and Preacher of Wisdom (2007). She has written two guides to biblical texts for adult study groups: Matthew: The Interpretation Study Series (1998) and The Parables for Today (2007). Her latest book is Novel Preaching: Fiction Writing Strategies for Sermons. Alyce is also regular columist for both the Mainline Protestant Portal and Preacher's Portal at .

She recounts that when she was a little girl there was a stained glass window on the back wall of the church her family attended. One pane depicted Jesus praying in Gethsemane, the other, Jesus ascending to be with God. She remembers asking her mother, "Why can't that happy man help that sad man?" Her mother's reply, "They're the same man," was the catalyst for her lifelong fascination with the stories,images and themes of the Christian faith. She describes her goal as helping people place their stories in the framework of God's story. "When life and Scripture are both so deep and intriguing, why would we be shallow or boring in communicating our faith?"

Dr. McKenzie is an avid reader of mystery novels, an enthusiastic baker and a student of Yoga. She and her husband Murry have three grown children, Melissa, Rebecca and Matthew. The couple lives in Allen, Texas, where they are active in the life of First United Methodist Church. They enjoy time with friends, travel, music and movies.

The focus of Dr. McKenzie's current writing and speaking is on fiction writers' strategies for cultivating the imagination and shaping literary art and on the role and art of storytelling in religious communication.

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