A Complete Guide To Sermon Delivery by Al Fasol
A Complete Guide To Sermon Delivery did a fairly good job at presenting material described in its title. Fasol put forth information and exercises regarding several of the main components of sermon delivery. He covered areas such as vocalization, articulation, body language, reading, and presentation for radio and television. He also responded to ten commonly asked questions in reference to his presentation.
The book has some very helpful aspects to it. One of these is the space given to exercises which preachers and communicators are able to practice in order to understand better how they do things, and also how they can train their bodies to communicate effectively. His exercises often revolve around listening or watching oneself after a presentation to evaluate one's weaknesses.
Another helpful aspect about the book is the evaluation forms in the appendix and scattered throughout the chapters. These are necessary, although oftentimes burdensome. No one really wants to see their weaknesses, much less have others see them and point them out.
Another part of the book which I appreciated was the attention given to how the television has changed the congregation. John Stott is quoted as giving five negative influences of the television including "(1) physical laziness, (2) intellectual passiveness, (3) emotional insensitivity, (4) psychological confusion, and (5) moral disorder" (pg 114). The following observation that perhaps the television has locked the congregation into a "world of fantasy from which they never escape" is convicting (pg 114).
Although I though it to be very helpful, there were several things which I did not appreciate about the book. First, any book which purports to be the "complete" or "definitive" guide to anything needs to be read with suspicion. The book does a good job in the areas it addresses, but it is far from "complete." I do not know who gave the title, so I cannot disparage the author. Second, in the introduction the author makes the comment "When God called you to preach, he saw something in you, some quality no one else has" (pg 4). Really? A quality that no one else has?
Overall I appreciated the work and will most likely use information found in it.