Integrative preaching is a method of preaching developed by Kenton C. Anderson. In the following four presentations and four videos, Kent presents the method in summary form. Perhaps they can be helpful to you as you think about ways to improve your own preaching.
The following notes describe an older version of the theory and process of integrative preaching as articulated by Kenton C. Anderson. All material is copyrighted.The Model of Integrative Preaching: 01 – Proclamation – People have been predicting the demise of preaching for a long time, yet such pronouncements may have been premature. 02 – Revelation – Never in history has so much been said with so little authority. Ironically (or perhaps, predictably) our communication explosion (blogs, texts, and pulpits) has paralleled our current crisis of confidence in our ability to articulate truth for anyone beyond ourselves. 03 – Integration – The nature of preaching is to overcome separation. Theologically we are separated from God, which is our primary problem (vertical). Personally, we are separated within ourselves (horizontal). This is to say that we have a problem with authority and we have a problem with apprehension. Great preaching works to overcome these gaps, through a process of integration. 04 – Formation – The gospel transforms. The fundamental nature of our proclamation is not solely that it secures a new standing before God, but that it changes our way of being before God. The Elements of Integrative Preaching 05 – Engage – Among the elements critical to greatness in preaching is engagement. A great sermon will engage the listener with a sense of its relevance, encouraging vitality and animating life. 06 – Instruct – A primary element supportive of greatness in preaching is instruction. A great sermon will instruct the listener toward patterns of thought that are truthful and meaningful. 07 – Convict – Another element required if our preaching can be called great is conviction. A great sermon will bring the listener to a “big moment” wherein the listener is brought to tangible recognition of and appreciation for the person and presence of God. 08 – Inspire – A final element leading to a great sermon is inspiration. A truly superior sermon will “turn the ear into an eye,” motivating a meaningful change of thought and life. The Tools of Integrative Preaching: 09 – Stories – Story is one of the most powerful tools available to the preacher. We live our lives in the form of story as one thing happens after another. The massive influence of movies, television, and other forms of narrative media put the lie to the idea that stories are somehow less substantive or more juvenile forms of presentation. In fact, every aspect of our public discourse, from the way we hear the news to how we understand ‘reality’ is offered to our culture in the form of story. While this fact may offer some troubling implications, it speaks nonetheless to the power of narrative. 10 – Problems – Problems serve the preacher as one of his or her most significant, though underappreciated, tools. Problems are perennial, even if they are not always immediately evident. A good doctor, detective, or auto mechanic, models the value of isolating and diagnosing problems in the pursuit of a clearly understood and articulated truth. 11 – Ideas – A staple of preaching, ideas serve to give the sermon focus. It is hard to imagine any effectiveness in preaching that does not embrace the clear and convincing presentation of a strong proposition, faithfully derived from the Scriptures. Typically, preachers have worked with a number of ideas in their sermons (often three), without always distinguishing the relative merit of the various ideas. More effective preachers, however, embrace the pursuit of one single “big idea,” around which all the elements of the sermon can orient themselves. 12 – Pictures – Pictures are a further set of tools available to the preacher’s use. Ideas, entirely on their own, lack color and embodiment. Pictures allow the preacher to flesh things out so that the listener is offered a fuller more vibrant image of the sermon’s intent. If preachers are going to gain access to this tool, they need to begin seeing their preaching as an art form. The Process of Integrative Preaching: 13 – Discovery – The first stage in the actual process of developing a sermon that can be delivered is discovery. What we are trying to discover is the message, which is our answer to the question, “What is God saying through this text, to these people in their time?” 14 – Construction – The second stage in the process of sermon building is construction in which the preacher builds a sermon sufficient to communicate the message discerned within discovery. As with the discovery process, sermon construction is more prayerful than technical. It is to be engaged in deep conversation with God, such that his voice can be adequately heard. 15 – Assimilation – The third stage in the process is assimilation, wherein the preacher assures the source of energy necessary for the delivery of the message, by means of the sermon. 16 – Delivery – The final stage in the process moves past preparation to the matter of delivery, although an understanding of the nature of delivery will affect ways by which the preacher prepares. The product of delivery is the event the unique and un-publishable, moment-in- time, when people hear from and respond to God in his presence. A Summary of Integrative Preaching: 17 – Summary – Preaching as proclamation is helping people hear from God. It is built upon confidence in God’s self-revelation, appreciating that it is God himself who is the preacher and that we simply serve as his servants in this role.