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Preaching with Cultural Intelligence: Understanding the People Who Hear Our Sermons

ISBN: 9781493411436
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To preach effectively in today’s world, preachers need cultural intelligence. They must build bridges between listeners who come from various denominations, ethnicities, genders, locations, religious backgrounds, and more. Experienced preacher and teacher Matthew Kim provides a step-by-step template for cross-cultural hermeneutics and homiletics, equipping preachers to reach their varied listeners in the church and beyond. Each chapter includes questions for individual thought or group discussion. The book also includes helpful diagrams and images, a sample sermon, and appendixes for exegeting listeners and for exploring cultural differences.

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“Next, how do our listeners view God? For most Christians, their perspective on who God is depends on numerous factors that are often shaped by their lived experiences. Depending on their cultural context, they may tend to emphasize certain characteristics of God as opposed to others: God’s eternality, jealousy, love, wrath, mercy, patience, justice, holiness, power, goodness, sovereignty, faithfulness, and so much more. For some, God bears resemblance to a hovering, impossible-to-please mom, or a doting, pushover grandfather who capitulates to the child’s incessant pleas.” (Page 23)

“To facilitate this self-exploration process, we will divide this chapter into three parts. Part 1 will identify our levels of CQ drive and our attitudes toward other cultures with the goal of moving toward cultural empathy and celebration. Part 2 will serve as an opportunity for preachers to explore their personal and family histories by way of a preacher’s timeline and journal project, which will unearth various repressed areas of life and cultivate greater empathy for Others. In part 3, I will briefly encourage preachers to work through the various cultural markers in the Homiletical Template for themselves before they try to undertake it for their listeners.” (Page 46)

“First, Livermore articulates CQ drive as ‘the motivational dimension of CQ, [which] is the leader’s level of interest, drive, and energy to adapt cross-culturally.’15 CQ drive reflects an inner longing to better understand similar and dissimilar congregants.” (Page 6)

Matthew D. Kim (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is associate professor of preaching and ministry and the director of the Haddon W. Robinson Center for Preaching at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is the author of Finding Our Voice: A Vision for Asian North American Preaching, Preaching with Cultural Intelligence: Understanding the People Who Hear Our Sermons, and 7 Lessons for New Pastors: Your First Year in Ministry.


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  1. Bledar Valca

    Bledar Valca


    Dr. Kim has done the church a great favor with this book. While all communication books speak of the need to do "audience analysis", Dr. Kim has given us the tools to do just that. He offers an apparatus to exegete the culture and exemplifies that with sermons that deal with several key cultural realities the preacher cannot afford to ignore. He uses three acronyms that are helpful to the process of preparing and delivering your material.