Lori J. Carrell
“Listeners do love their pastors and they agree with the sermon content they hear,” Lori Carrell once explained to a group of pastors, “but most sermons don’t ask for change, and most listeners don’t experience spiritual growth as a result of the sermon.” A participant responded: “Let’s get practical. I want my preaching to make a difference. What changes are worth making, and how do I make them?”
In Preaching that Matters, Lori Carrell shares answers to that question, drawing on the experiences of thousands of people—preachers and their listeners—whose effort she has studied over many years. In each chapter of this book, she offers research revelations about high impact preaching that will encourage and challenge readers to continue to grow as preachers. She then links these principles with Reflective Practice Challenges (RPCs), exercises that honor the rich experiences of pastors while opening opportunities for self-analysis, spiritual introspection, conversation with a trusted other (to connect with others reading Preaching That Matters and to find an onlne accountability partner, join the book's Google+ communities), or implementation of research-based preaching recommendations. The activities have been used by hundreds of other pastors, and each RPC has been carefully selected for its demonstrated contribution to the process of transforming sermon communication. A selection ofthe RPCs are available as a downloadable journal.
As a communication expert, Carrell approaches preaching from a “sermon communication” paradigm. She begins with the task of identifying the spiritually transformative purpose of the sermon and then explores exegeting, organizing, deepening, and delivering the sermon, as well as listening to the listeners and planning for continued transformation. Her own goal is simple: to inspire and equip clergy to make changes that will enhance the transformative power of their preaching.
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Praise for the Book
“If you are serious about improving your preaching, this book is the place to begin. Lori Carrell brings together communication theory, research into how people listen to sermons, and years of working with preachers who seek to incorporate the research findings into their preaching. This book is inspirational, challenging, and practical—all at once.” —Ronald J. Allen, Christian Theological Seminary
“Dr. Carrell astutely reminds preachers that our assemblies expect an encounter with God. A spiritually transformative encounter, which God has called us to create by our words, is something this book can help us achieve with its wisdom and exercises.” —Jeff Nicolas, The Cathedral of the Assumption, Louisville, KY
“It is one thing to challenge preachers to prepare and deliver sermons that not only inform but transform; it is another thing altogether to offer them a way to reach that goal. Lori Carrell invites preachers to engage in reflective practices and constructive activities to break bad preaching habits and develop an approach to preaching based on solid sermon communication research.” —Lucy Lind Hogan, Wesley Theological Seminary
“This book equips preachers to reflect critically on their current process of sermon preparation and to reenvision it from the inside out.” —Alyce M. McKenzie, Perkins School of Theology
“If preachers will devote themselves to reading, praying, and listening their way through this book, it will push the public preaching of the gospel in the direction it so desperately needs to go.” —Dwight A. Moody, president, Academy of Preachers
“Lori Carrell is tenacious in her determination to help preachers get better at preaching the most important message on the planet. I unreservedly recommend Preaching that Matters to anyone who takes serious wanting to get better in their preaching.
—Pastor Bill Lenz, Christ the Rock Community Church
Lori J. Carrell is professor of communication and director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Dr. Carrell’s vision is to educate, inspire, and equip others to maximize the transformative power of the spoken word. Her research explores the impact of communication education for those who preach and teach. Host of the television show Ask God!, Dr. Carrell has been awarded an Endowment for Excellence Professorship.
Alban No. 428
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