Preaching Tips on Controversy
1. Become aware of the news behind the headlines. ...
4. Examine historical collections of sermons that have dealt
with the disturbing news of their day.
5. Remember the call to preach the Word of God even when that
word is uncomfortable to hear.
6. Incorporate the news in your preaching in different ways
... examples or illustrations to interpret scripture.
7. Controversial situations in the news may require advance
preparation for the congregation before preaching.
8. Develop strategies so the preaching will reach all the
demographics within the church.
9. Grow into the role of the congregation's head teacher.
10. Read and listen to opinion and commentary in print and
electronic media. Discover techniques and patterns of communication ...
12. Consider using a Web site and e-mail to extend the life of
preached messages ...
13. Engage members of the congregation to take action to
alleviate the suffering of victims described in the news ...
14. Provide preaching and congregational activities that lay
the foundation for faith responses for future crises and news that disturbs.
15. During a time of crisis, reflect on the pulpit as a place
for group pastoral care and group spiritual direction rather than for
16. Be honest with your feelings when preaching during a time
of disturbing news of crisis ...
17. Refrain from stating reasons for a tragic occurrence or
using theological cliches.
18. Do emphasize hope for the future and God's covenant of
love and presence.
19. Plant seeds for forgiveness and reconciliation as a way of
living even during crisis ...
Excerpts from a summary of PREACHING PROPHETICALLY WHEN
THE NEWS IDSTURBS by Sudrey Borschel, Chalice Press, 2009, p. 99-100.