Preachers, Mood Matters

green blueIn preaching, your mood matters. Not whether or not you’re grumpy that morning, but whether or not your mood reflects the text.

You can say “Jesus is the most precious and valuable thing you could ever hope for,” while communicating, “Jesus is pretty cool, but . . . meh.”

The way you say something can actually be a barrier from a person truly hearing the message you should be conveying.

The Mood of a Text

I’ve heard preachers who sounded angry and frustrated when preaching a text that wasn’t portraying the same mood. As one of my profs said, “You shouldn’t preach Psalm 23 as a rebuke.” Why? Because the purpose is to comfort, soothe, put at rest.

If preaching is when the content and intent of a passage becomes your content and intent, then that includes tone and mood. That’s why one of the questions I ask myself in sermon prep is, “What is the mood or tone of the text?” Is the author anxious? Confused? Encouraged? Passionate? Worshipful?

Then I try to ask God to help me have the same heart toward my people that the author had toward his, or that God has. Hopefully, God has dealt with me through the text, and He helps me not just say what He is saying, but portray what He is saying by how I say it.

What I’m Not Saying

I’m not saying you have to be an outgoing, life of the party person in order to be a preacher. You can have dry wit or be an introvert and be a preacher (I’m an introvert). But, introverted or extroverted, you’re missing something if you don’t portray (at least in your own way) the mood of the text.

A Challenge

Has God’s Word truly impacted you in your study? Is it truly powerful? Then don’t you think you should convey that in how you say it? Shouldn’t there be a burden in your preaching like Martin Lloyd Jones talked about? Is it truly the Word of the Almighty God of all existence that you’re proclaiming? Preachers, we’ve got to beg God to get His Word deep down inside of us! In our bones. And then we’ve got to deliver–not because people are changed because of our performance, but because if someone doesn’t communicate God’s Word, then people can’t be changed. So preach. And get the word deep down inside of you–even to the point of having the mood of the text.

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