Metro Boston Hope District Resource Day: Preaching in precarious times

April 26, 2015

The Rev. Dr. Teresa Fry Brown, Professor of Homiletics and the newly named Bandy Professor of Preaching at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, led the Metro

Boston Hope District Resource Day on April 25, 2015 at Lexington United Methodist Church in Massachusetts.

Dr. Fry Brown’s topic: “Powerful Preaching in Precarious Times.”

Dr. Fry Brown told the clergy and laity gathered  that “Every sermon is four sermons: The one you want to preach, the one God wants you to preach, the one people hear and the one the world hears when people recount it to others outside church.”

Remember, she said, that “your sermon never ends … because people are retelling it. Whether they are critiquing it or (are inspired by it), they are retelling it.”

Dr. Fry Brown encouraged preachers to consider all of their senses – not just what is seen, but what can be heard, smelled, touched in a given scripture passage. She also urged them to stay in touch with what their congregations are watching and reading in popular culture to “stay relevant.”

A quick tip from Dr. Fry Brown for those looking for sermon inspiration: Preach a hymn. Most United Methodist hymns have an accompanying text and make for good illustrations of that text, she said. Be sure to preach the third verse, she said, “Because that’s where the theology is.”

Photos and story by Beth DiCocco, Director of Communications

“All preaching can get better,” Dr. Fry Brown said. “Refresh yourself in preaching; change up the format, what you do – lives are at stake. … What we preach can impact where people spend eternity.  … We impact lives from the pulpit – whether the pulpit is up here or where you sit. … People depend on us to give them guidance, not give them answers. Preachers don’t give answers. Preachers help illuminate a text so people can find their answers.” 

Click the photo to hear an excerpt from Dr. Fry Brown's presentation.

See more photos on our Facebook page