The Empowered Communicator shows you how to reach out to an audience–how to develop and deliver Christian messages that grab their attention, hold their interest, and inspire them to act.
A Reader’s Review:
Although this book was written for pastors, Calvin Miller certainly did not have the small church pastor on his mind when he wrote it. Much of what he says assumes a large church audience. As the title suggest he discusses seven keys to unlocking an audience. Miller addresses the intangibles of public speaking, i.e., audience interest, relational communication, deportment, and quality of vice and delivery).
This is a wonderful book full of helpful advice. I like the summary boxes and the chapter outlines at the end of the book, these made the information presented much more accessible. I also like that he used the “E” word. Sermons should be “entertaining” as well as informative. Too many preachers nearly bore their audiences to death. Such honesty is refreshing. Like Chapell, he emphatically states that “no application, no sermon.” People need to know how biblical truth applies to and affects their lives. Related to this was his call to preach with passion: the biblical truth must grasp us before it will grasp our audience. Miller also did an excellent job explaining and illustrating inductive preaching.
Within the first few pages he quotes Bob Schuller’s Self-Esteem, The New Reformation as a source to demonstrate that evangelicals as a group have the lowest self esteem in America. If this book was not required reading for a class, I probably would have thrown it aside and not read it thereby missing some valuable insight and advice.
It’s a good book despite its weaknesses. Yet, as mentioned above, he seems to be speaking directly to preachers of much larger congregations than mind. His revelation to “mingle with the little people” is already known to every small church pastor. We live and work with our people every day. Few of us have the luxury of locking ourselves away in our ivory towers. It is not a book about sermon preparation, but about effective communication and we all could use more of that kind of information.