Speech class taught me to make my first sentence captivating for my audience. The wow factor gets their attention, and the skill of the presenter keeps it focused until the end of the message. I’ve listened to some sermons that were hard to sit through because of bad public speaking skills. I wonder, though, how much depends on visual effects and how much is due to content. Does the pastor need a gimmick to point us to Jesus? Isn’t the subject of the gospel good enough? I’ve experienced pastors who can activate the Holy Spirit in the room and point the crowd to Jesus with no props other than a Bible in hand. I’m just asking.

“He touted the sporty Mustang he bought for his daughter by driving it onto the stage as a sermon prop. He used weights to make a biblical point about his exercise plan. He kept his haircut short but sported a scruffy beard look. He wore jeans and black T-shirts like the more famous online pastors. He set the stage with an industrial look and made sure the lighting was perfect. The worship set became more modern and less traditional, and songs more like singing along with the radio than worshipful praise.” (Taylor, Joy S., A View from the Pews — The Inside Story of a Broken Church, 2022, Lily of the Valley Publishing, Santa Claus IN, p. 45.)

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