John-Paul Flintoff

"It's A Sin To Bore For Jesus"

In the past, I went for maximum immediate impact. You know, the Samuel Goldwyn school: 'Start with an earthquake, and build to a climax.'
— Ron Boyd-MacMillan

Ron Boyd-MacMillan wrote a remarkably useful and entertaining book, Explosive Preaching, which I picked up while researching my own book.

Adequate Podcast, with guest Ron Boyd-MacMillan

His insights, intended to aid religious preachers, are useful to anybody who intends to make a speech, whether at a wedding or for work.

In this interview (audio below), Ron:
1. tells me why the great early preacher St Augustine used to improvise;
2. says he’s been disappointed that churches, in Covid, have sounded like bureaucrats interested only in health and safety; and
3. tells stories about his work training preachers across the world and in many denominations. In particular, how he prepared Chinese “house church” preachers to memorise dozens of hours of sermons all at once.

Whatever your interest in communication, you’ll learn from Ron how to think about your purpose, your audience, the arrangement of your material, the style you adopt, how to memorise your material, and how best to deliver it.

PLUS: Whatever kind of creative work you are doing, you will want to stop occasionally and assess it. That applies to public speaking, writing a book, and making a podcast.

At the start of this episode, I perform a quick assessment of my own progress with this podcast, and note that I would never have started if I had hoped to know all this at the beginning – a reminder to all creative types to get started.

Recent podcasts

  1. How To Pull Off A Month-Long Creative Project
  2. "Everybody needs a jolly good listening to" | Interview with author Wendy Jones
  3. "I Thought I Didn't Need Supervision" | Interview with Jenny Rogers
  4. "When I'm On My Deathbed I'll Remember This"
  5. On The Pleasures Of Copying Out Great Writing By Hand
  6. A Guide To Being A Coachy Friendy Agenty Kind Of Person
  7. My First Wedding Speech: blow by blow, by Rebecca Twomey
  8. "It's A Sin To Bore For Jesus"
  9. Talking As Therapy, And Just Talking
  10. "Read It Aloud": an interview with voice artist Kris Dyer

Posted: February 23, 2021

Keywords: preaching, impro

John-Paul Flintoff headshot, with Yours Truly written across it John-Paul Flintoff is author of six books, in 16 languages, including How To Change The World and A Modest Book About How To Make An Adequate Speech. He worked for 15 years as writer and associate editor on the Financial Times, the Sunday Times and other papers and magazines.

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