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The Power of Speaking God's Word: How to Preach Memorable Sermons Paperback – January 1, 2001

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The Power of Speaking God's Word: How to Preach Memorable Sermons + The Moment of Truth: A Guide to Effective Sermon Delivery + Why Johnny Can't Preach: The Media Have Shaped the Messengers
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Mentor (January 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857926048
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857926040
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #885,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Most preachers have been taught to produce carefully written material to be given in the pulpit. Changing patterns is hard but Wilbur Ellsworth will show you why you should change and how you can. His thoughts have deeply impacted my own preaching." ~ John Armstrong (Director of Renew and formerly a Pastor for twenty years)

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Format: Paperback
This is a book about preparing and delivering sermons. I should state at the outset that I have no formal training in homiletics. I have preached often, and my own particular method has been developed by trial and error, and a little feedback.

The real thesis of this book revolves around the difference between "orality" and "literacy," a distinction captured by Walter Ong - who Ellsworth cites frequently in his developmental chapter "What is Orality?" Writing and speaking work differently in different settings. Ellsworth contends that most modern day preaching (an oral communication) is shaped and delivered predominantly as written communication. Every sermon has its roots in a written text - the Bible - but most of the supplemental study is derived from other detailed texts, which are then formulated into what is essentially a paper, sometimes then reduced to an outline, and then delivered as a monograph with pretty close adherence to either the manuscript or the outline of the manuscript.

The problem? The congregation can't follow. Literary communication is complex; you can take time to go back over what you just read; you can pause, look ahead, see the big picture of the outline, and read to fill in the gaps. To attempt to communicate literary form in an oral manner means the congregation is going to miss most of it. They would be better off if you printed out your paper, and they read it for themselves at their own leisure.

The answer is to recover a distinctly oral method of communicating the truth of the Bible from start to finish, from the first stages of preparation all the way through the delivery.
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