Camden Theological Library

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Rewiring your preaching : how the brain processes sermons

Posted on 17 March 2014 Gavin Glenn

What preachers preach is not necessarily what hearers hear.

Why does a sermon affect some listeners but not others? Modern neuroscience tells us that verbal stimuli can be accepted or rejected depending on how it is received. The brain processes new information differently than information that reinforces already-held beliefs. To have long-term effect, new information must connect with previous memory.

Psychologist, physician and preacher Richard Cox shows that a better understanding of the brain can help us be more effective in our preaching. Intentional, purposeful preaching can actually produce new neural pathways. What we hear can change how the brain thinks and how its owner acts. Because our bodies are interconnected with our minds, we can also influence how people experience comfort and healing in times of pain.

God is at work in our brains to enable his people to hear him. Preach with the brain in mind, and help your hearers grow in mental, physical and spiritual health.

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