Monday, August 04, 2008

Brazil 10 - How to Preach to Internationals

I'm currently a foreigner, or as we tend to say in England (for no apparent reason except that it takes the word away from the Communists) an international. And I've been listening to a lot of sermons. With that in mind, I thought I'd give some tips for how to preach to people who don't speak the language very well.

  1. Give important Bible references (like the main passage being preached on) slowly and clearly, and repeat it.
  2. Don't mumble.
  3. Make your main points clear, and in simple language.
  4. Ideally, have something written with points on, whether a handout or a powerpoint or something. This means that in language with either bizarre accents and complex rules (like Brazillian Portuguese) or with only limited correlation between spelling and pronunciation (like English) people can look the words up in a dictionary. I tend to carry one everywhere here.
  5. If you get into a phase of shouting very fast, don't expect people to follow you.
  6. Slow down in important bits.
  7. Use language similar to the Bible passage.
  8. Have clear sentences of application or main teaching points, and preach so that a good proportion of people there could tell you what the sentence was 5 minutes after the talk.
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