|Abstract: ||This project presents the views of a teacher of homiletics who teaches among the Lisu people in Myanmar. It draws on the writings of international theologians I find helpful, as well as my own experiences and observations, to argue the thesis, which is that effective preaching is facilitated by the preacher’s awareness of God, message, and audience.
On the preacher’s awareness of God, I argue that every preacher should have a knowledge of God, which includes knowing the nature and the work of God as well as possible. Besides, when it comes to effective preaching, I argue that the preacher should also possess a deep spirituality. In order to have such spirituality, every preacher ought to practice personal prayer and daily Bible reading. In addition to this, the preacher’s faith must be unconditional.
With regard to the preacher’s awareness of message, I argue that the preacher‘s discernment plays a vital role in effective preaching because the message is the main content of preaching. Moreover, I argue that the preacher should also be convinced of the interpretation of the text because the people need to understand the text according to their contextual situation. In relation to this, the applicable methods for the Lisu preachers are the theories offered by Thomas G. Long and Fred Craddock because both of them contribute a precise ways to interpret the biblical text and which are applicable to the Lisu context. Long and Craddock’s method help the Lisu preachers to build a contextualized preaching model, which I call the “crossbow metaphor,” by which I mean the archer, arrow, and target. The archer represents the preacher, arrow refers to the message, and the target stands for the audience.
The question of context is particularly important to a discussion of the preacher’s awareness of audience. In this chapter I argue that the preacher needs to observe
the contextual situation in order to discern the congregation well and preach to them more effectively because preaching aims at meeting the needs of the congregation. In addition to this, the preacher’s knowledge of cross-cultural differences also plays a vital role in effective preaching because people try to find God within the bonds of culture, and thus their cultural values and theological perception go together. I also argue that the preacher’s knowledge of communication theory, to a certain degree, is significant when it comes to effective preaching because the very nature of preaching is communication. In order to bring God’s message to people, every preacher needs to communicate with others. In this sense, the preacher’s knowledge of using nonverbal elements is also important to preach effectively.