Session Three: The Integrative Sermon

Kenton Anderson is back, describing the approach he describes in his book Choosing to Preach. He calls this the integrative approach (abductive and behavioral). This is like the musician who performs a song. It respects both the listener and the text. It also values both head and heart.

This approach aims for:

  • a compelling argument like the declarative approach
  • the underlying mystery like the pragmatic approach [comment by Darryl: does the pragmatic approach really reveal the underlying mystery?]
  • the human story like the narrative approach
  • the motivating vision like the visionary approach

We don’t have to do this. We can choose to put down roots and refuse to integrate.

Once we choose to integrate, there are a couple of approaches:

  • to go on a journey and integrate these approaches consecutively. Example: start with a story, teach, then look at the problem by looking at our struggle with the teaching. I go in this order: what’s the story, what’s the point, what’s the problem, what’s the difference?
  • to tear down the borders and integrate these approaches concurrently (i.e. mix it all up and include all four approaches)

Elements of a good sermon:

  • God’s voice is heard (deductive)
  • the listener is respected (inductive)
  • the mind is fed with truth (cognition)
  • the listener is motivated to obedience (affection)

The consecutive approach:

  • What’s the story? – the human element of the text that intersects with the stories of the listeners
  • What’s the point? – the “big idea” of the text and the logic that undergirds it
  • What’s the problem? – the problem in our fallen natures that needs to be addressed by the big idea
  • What’s the difference? – specific, concrete examples of what needs to change

Anderson gave examples of this approach and asked us to work through a passage using an integrative approach.

Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash

I'm a grateful husband, father, oupa, and pastor of Grace Fellowship Church Don Mills. I love learning, writing, and encouraging. I'm on a lifelong quest to become a humble, gracious old man.
Toronto, Canada