Preaching to Deaf Ears

By Hess, Margaret B. | The Christian Century, June 18, 1997 | Go to article overview

Preaching to Deaf Ears


Hess, Margaret B., The Christian Century


Ezekiel 2:1-5

I stood in the small hallway just outside of the sanctuary, nervously jogging from foot to foot as I strained to see through the crack between the doors into the church. Even though it was a sweltering August day, my hands were ice cold and my heart was pounding so hard I thought I would faint. The two pastors of the church stood beside me, looking like enthusiastic coaches ready to burst through the doors onto the playing field.

I thought about backing out, but decided that nothing short of death could save me at that late hour. The powerful chords of the pipe organ began to vibrate throughout the building. Better to preach than to die, I decided, so I moved through the doors and preached for all I was worth.

Afterward, I was lavished with praise and smothered with kisses from my old Sunday school teachers. Before that day, I had tried to convince myself that the response of the people was not that important. So what if they didn't like me. But I realized that it mattered terribly to me what my home church thought, and it was vitally important that they hear me. The encouragement I received that day was the deciding factor in my acceptance of God's call to preach.

That is why I am stymied by God's words to Ezekiel as he is commissioned to go to the people of Israel: "... and you shall say to them, `Thus says the Lord God.' And whether they hear or refuse to hear they will know that there has been a prophet among them." Then God adds, as if speaking to a child with a quivering lip: "Remember Ezekiel, sticks and stones may break your bones, but names will never hurt you." I could never buy that when I was a child, much less as an adult, and even less as a preacher. Whether they hear or not? Even if they insult you?

As a preaching instructor, I often ask students to examine how their preaching is affected by the "relational acoustics" of a situation. The term comes from the theory of women's psychological development and refers to how voice is formed and influenced by the "acoustics" of any given relationship. In other words, How is what you say shaped by whether or not you are heard or valued in the hearing?

I ask men and women the same set of questions: Do you ever censor yourself in preaching? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Preaching to Deaf Ears
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.