How can preachers ensure that their sermons continue to engage listeners in a world defined by visual media and the short, segmented delivery of information? Alyce McKenzie harnesses the element of drama and the human fascination with scenes to offer ministers a modern means of sermon development and delivery.
McKenzie's core strategy is to invite listeners into scenes—whether from Scripture or contemporary life—and, once they are there, to point them toward the larger story of God's relationship with humankind. Creating such scenes unifies the whole process of preaching, she says, from the preacher's daily life observations to interpretation of scenes from Scripture, to sermon shaping, sequencing, and delivery. The process culminates in a specific understanding of the purpose of the sermon: to send listeners out into the scenes they'll play in their lives for the next week, equipped to act out their parts in ways that are kinder, more just, and more courageous than last week.