Preaching Effectively, Revitalising Your Church: The Seven-Step Ladder Toward Successful Homilies
Paulist Press, $37.95
As DeBona, associate professor of homiletics and communication at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in Indiana states in his introduction, the homily (sermon, message or reflection) is much more than the ten or so minutes during a service of worship. It is a forum for Christian witness, the platform from which the gospel is proclaimed and the scriptures interpreted.
The hope is then that the church’s preaching is effective in transforming the hearer’s lives and this requires good preaching in whatever form.
Preaching Effectively takes the reader through a seven-step process.
Although of course preaching is common to all Christian denominations, Preaching Effectively is squarely aimed at homiletics in the Roman Catholic tradition. Subsequently there are aspects of the book that are jarring in a Uniting Church context, such as an inextricable link between preaching and ordained ministry, and the constant reference to the preacher as “he”.
However it addresses issues common to all Christian traditions at this time. DeBona certainly appeals strongly to the need for an adjustment of communication methods to meet the challenge of today but I’m not sure he goes far enough.