We all have our own personal preferences when it comes to movies and perhaps the thought of sitting through a ‘chick flick’ makes your cringe—the crying, the laughing, and the female bonding just does not appeal to you at all! However, there is much that we could learn from ‘chick flicks’ that would be beneficial to preaching.
What is the appeal of ‘chick flicks’? They highlight emotions. Sometimes the relationships are depicted as falling apart and the characters are exhibiting erratic and vengeful behaviors driven from anger, jealously, or devastation. At other times, scenes are overflowing with joy and happiness as characters celebrate and embrace finding love. Regardless of the circumstances, the emotions of the characters are fully revealed for the audience to see and experience along with them.
Why is this important to preaching? Preaching is not just about engaging our intellect; it is an event that must also speak to our hearts. As we delve into the scriptures we must engage in the emotions of the characters in the story. We are not to just rush through an account of the events or highlight the main teachings of a passage. We need to learn to linger over the thoughts and emotions that are involved in the passage; we need to experience the joy, fear, anguish, and love that is expressed in the scriptures. Preaching needs to be relational, therefore, preaching requires us to examine what feelings the passage evokes, and why. As listeners, we bond together as we grieve with Mary, the mother of Jesus, and with Hannah as she cries out in desperation to God. We feel their anguish; our hearts break with theirs as they struggle to deal with their life circumstances. How can we truly appreciate the creation of humankind in Genesis without taking into account the love of God that motivated our being created in God’s image? While we may not all like to sit through a ‘chick flick’ movie, I encourage us to embrace the bonding experience that occurs when we highlight emotions in our teaching and preaching of God’s word. God desires to speak to our hearts.