I spent 12 hours on a plane on Tuesday, so I had time to plow into Kenton Anderson’s book Integrative Preaching: A Comprehensive Model for Transformational Proclamation. I’ll post a review next week, but I’ll just say here: I’ve never read another preaching book quite like it. I think it’s going to help a lot of preachers do a better job in proclaiming God’s Word.
Kent was kind enough to allow me to interview him about this book.
Why did you write this book?
This is the culmination of 25 years of study, research, teaching, and of course the actual work of preaching. I have a sense of mission to help direct preaching toward a more holistic and integrative approach that might have a better chance of helping people hear and seeing them transformed. I believe that we can aspire to more than mere instruction in our preaching, particularly if we want to see people transformed by the gospel. I want to see people come into the presence of God and experience a sense of conviction. I want to see them inspired to a sense of mission. All of this seemed to require a book.
“Preaching is leading in listening.” What do you mean by this? How does this change the role of the preacher?
The key thing here is to communicate that God is the one who speaks. I have found it helpful to conceive of our task more as listening than as speaking. We aren’t so arrogant as to believe that our personal thoughts and opinions are worthy of preaching. We come together to hear from God. The preacher simply has the advantage of a head start. We listen first then lead others to hear what we first heard. This is a humbler stance than what we are typically thought to hold, positioning us better for a hearing in our current times.
Some of us tend to teach a lot in our sermons. We preach to the head. Others preach more to the heart. How does your model help all of us preach to the whole person?
The integrative model offers an intentional way of getting us beyond the aspects with which we are most comfortable, to address a fuller and more complete sense of what it means to see people transformed. The book suggests a simple-to-grasp conceptual model and strategic approach to our task. It isn’t difficult to understand, though it might be challenging for some of us to fully embrace.
What difference have you seen in the ministries of preachers who have used the integrative model?
I have been teaching and encouraging this direction for 25 years. During that time, I have been privileged to influence thousands of preachers and communicators. I have heard nothing but encouragement from these students and readers. They tell me about a more engaged audience and a more intentional and consistent transformative effect upon their listeners. Most preachers will take this work and adapt it to their own gifting, experience, understanding, and opportunity. I am always pleased to see this and am just happy to see preachers thinking bigger about what is possible through their preaching.
You are a seminary president, professor, preacher, writer, and more. How can we pray for you with you in this season of your life?
Yes, I have a lot going on. Thanks for asking this question. You could join in my prayer that I would be able to discern the priorities and have wisdom around the things God is calling me to. We could all pray that for ourselves, of course.
I’ll post a review and quotes from the book next week.
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