Fuzzy Thinking Produces Confusing Sermons


“The great failure of much preaching is fuzzy thinking. The preacher is not quite clear about his subject and the ideas that express it. His language is imprecise. The progression of his thought meanders in search of a line of direction. The basis for this vague and uncertain communication in an expository sermon is a failure to identify the text writer’s central idea and how he expresses it. If the preacher is unsure of his thoughts, the audience will be even more unsure of what he is saying. The key to clear thinking is the careful use of precise language…

Becoming a skilled word crafter calls for the capacity for critical thinking. By critical thinking we mean analyzing thoughts, sorting out ideas, distinguishing one concept from another, evaluating arguments, and making judgments about the best way to express ideas. It requires levels of precision and craftsmanship not necessary to casual thinking. You want to find the words that exactly express the idea. You want to distinguish it from ideas that are similar but not quite the same, such as various words for preaching: proclaim, declare, exhort, bear witness. It is this kind of thinking that is so needed among preachers today.” – Wayne McDill, 12 Essential Skills for Great Preaching, 75.

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