It’s Not What You Say, But How You Say It!?!

The title of this post makes it sound like it is going to be about the speech mothers sometimes give to their children but I promise, it isn’t.

I was talking to a preacher a month or so ago about…you guessed it, preaching! He’s a good preacher, probably a great one. And he studies it, thinks about it, and teaches it.

In the course of our conversation, he made an observation that I found captivating. He said, “You know, when a typical preacher thinks about his upcoming sermon on Sunday, he spends more time thinking about how he is going to say it rather than what he is going to say.”

That’s probably true. We worry about our delivery, our presentation of the message, the video we have selected to use with one of our points, and the illustrations that we use. And we may worry more about those things that the actual content of our message.

Here’s what is even more troubling. I might be worrying more about what I am going to say about the text rather than what the text actually says. Instead of seeing my sermon as “letting the text talk,” I might be tempted to see it as the time to let the preacher have his say.

Is delivery more important than exposition? I’m not asking the question in a theoretical sense but a practical one. What do you think? In your weekly presentation, what is the allotment of your time and focus?