To venable (verb): To randomly muse upon this and that.

The reason why a lot of preaching is boring is because it is a monologue. To which you reply: “all preaching I have heard is a monologue and so all preaching must be boring”. So I must immediately explain what I mean when I say that preaching should be a dialogue. I am not talking here about preaching being a verbal interaction between the preacher and those listening. I am talking about there being an interaction at a mental and emotional level. Something of my original thinking on this is derived from the second of Christopher Ash’s messages at the Evangelical Ministry Assembly in 2008. This message can be found here through the relevant search at that link.

When preaching is just a “brain-dump”; that is me getting out of my head a load of stuff and dumping it on the congregation then it is not a dialogue. It is all one-way. What should be happening in preaching though, is that questions are continually being posed by the preacher to get the congregation interacting. No verbal response is expected, although if one comes there is generally no problem. Further, as the preacher develops bis material he is anticipating and dealing with the questions that are arising in people’s minds. Through this the congregation are feeling that they are a part of what is happening.

And then there are the emotional responses that are taking place as the Word is preached. Some might be overwhelmed, some might be indifferent, some might be being softened by the Word. And as you sense this and as the emotional depths of the Word you are preaching, grabs your soul you interact with people.

This is all about engaging with people. It is about people coming and having a meeting with the living God through His Word. Oh how we have to work at this as preachers of the Word. We should remember that the preaching event should always be a dialogue.

It is interesting to read the book of Romans and see how much that is a dialogue. As you look through then book you see how Paul anticipates questions and thereby goes on to answer them (see the beginning of Romans 6 as an example). See him also asking questions as he develops his material in Romans. All this is an indication of how Paul sought to dialogue with those in Rome who would receive his letter.

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