Why Bishop Michael Curry’s Sermon Brought Down the House at the Royal Wedding

Michael Curry

Even if you missed the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, by now you’ve likely heard that American Bishop Michael Curry brought down the house with his incredible sermon.

It was, by many accounts—including mine—just a fantastic message on the Gospel. It grabbed headlines in England and around the world and the media can’t stop talking about it. (Miss it? Watch it here.)

Question: when was the last time you heard a ​sermon ​talked about like that? No…I can’t remember either.

Why did Curry’s sermon connect so well? As Curry and his friend, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, both mentioned in this fascinating interview, it was “after all, just the Gospel.”

And yet, when something connects so well, it’s a good idea to understand ​why ​it connected.

Here are some thoughts. In addition to preaching the Gospel during that message, Curry did at least five things that really connected with people in the room and around the world. 

it’s a good idea for preachers to take note. First of all, it’s hard to repeat something that went well if you don’t understand it. Second, everything Curry did is learnable and transferable…there’s no reason you can’t do it too.

So with that in mind, here are 5 things the Bishop did that helped make his message ring out loud and clear.

1. ​He didn’t use notes

It appears that Curry had notes (or at least YouVersion on his iPad), but he rarely even looked at them.

And that made him seem deeply believable and sincere.

This isn’t a good thing. It’s just a true thing.

Having notes and using notes are two different things as a preacher. Curry didn’t use them.

You might be 100% sincere and authentic when reading from your notes. But you don’t come across that way.

When you read a talk, or rely heavily on your notes, people think it’s coming from your head, not your heart.

Or worse, they think it’s a series of points you’re supposed to believe but don’t. Freeing yourself up from your notes creates a much more believable message.

When you read a speech, people think you’re insincere and inauthentic, even when you’re not.

2. ​He made eye contact with everyone

That’s the power of going notes free. He said in an interview later that he spent a lot of his message making eye contact with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. 

That’s just huge. It’s annoying when people don’t look you in the eye when they talk to you in person.

It’s very disengaging when a public speaker doesn’t.

Looking people in the eye is one of the best ways to let them know you believe what you say.

3. ​He was passionate

​Passion makes you seem like you believe it…and I think that astonished the media and guests. (As in: This guy seems like he actually believes this stuff!!!!)

Remember this preachers: your congregation’s passion level will rarely exceed yours. So be passionate.

If anything deserves passion, the Gospel does.

​4. He knew his talk inside out

There’s speculation that Curry may have gone off script, and he may have.

But it was clear he knew where he was headed, and that allowed him to connect with the crowd even more.

The key to speaking without using notes is not to memorize your talk, but to understand it.

My guess is that’s exactly what the Bishop did—he knew what he wanted to accomplish, which gave him a lot of freedom.

5. ​He brought fresh language to a timeless subject

Curry’s talk seemed very fresh and spontaneous, but underneath is were some carefully crafted phrases.  His carefully crafted phrases rang true at a deep level.

One of his lines even became the headline for The Times of London. That’s the power of intentional language.

The differences between a carefully crafted phrase and a poorly crafted phrase are simple: one is memorable, the other isn’t. One connects, the other doesn’t.

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Thoughts?

I am so excited to see a sermon making the news.

Any other observations on why Curry’s sermon connected so well?

Scroll down and leave a comment.

91 Comments

  1. Megan on September 12, 2018 at 11:50 am

    What a great post, thanks for sharing!

  2. […] Why Bishop Michael Curry’s Sermon Brought Down the House at the Royal Wedding by Carey Nieuwhof […]

  3. […] Why Bishop Michael Curry’s Sermon Brought Down the House at the Royal Wedding by Carey Nieuwhof […]

  4. […] Why Bishop Michael Curry’s Sermon Brought Down the House at the Royal Wedding by Carey Nieuwhof […]

  5. […] Why Bishop Michael Curry’s Message Brought Down The House At The Royal Wedding by Carey Nieuwhof […]

  6. Richard Woods on May 25, 2018 at 7:58 am

    I’m sorry but you have this very badly wrong. I don’t actually disagree with your 5 points about preaching. Certainly if all this was about was learning how to communicate a message better then there is no doubt much to learn from Bishop Curry. However, his message was not the Gospel on any level. It is a message that will not save. He talked about love passionately but implied that our love is what will remake the earth and help it reach perfection which of course is why so many non Christians loved it – it puts them at the centre where they like to be. Sadly it made a lot of evangelicals happy too for the same reason because they think it depends on them. Your post reveals that to some extent you think that too. If we can just communicate better we will help things along and people will be saved. It depends on my communication. Well for sure I have to work hard and do my part but thank God it does not depend on me or my ability to love. It depends on Gods love. Humanity cannot love like Bishop Curry suggested that is why we need Christ to recreate and change this world. Because me and you can’t do it. And when I preach – transformation does not come from how well I communicate it comes from The Holy Spirit as it always has and it always will.
    So take the positives from the delivery of the sermon if you must, even take the positives that many are talking about it (though actually it’s really just Christians arguing about it) but don’t kid yourself that he preached the Gospel. He preached nothing of the sort.

  7. sarah ann hart on May 24, 2018 at 11:52 am

    I read some of the comments. Some in my opinion, negative some positive or some merely imply that the writers are ignorant to the fact of 21st century thinking.
    If we reflect on history and how it has affected the human race today, we can, with optimism embrace the language and spirit of the message.
    The message no doubt made some uncomfortable. I think The Holy Spirit and God was in control. Rev. Curray may have planned the message on the scripture verse selected by the bride and the Groom. The essence is, as he tells the world, “Love is as strong as death, its caring, It is unconditional regardless of one’s race, colour or creed, If we love, we won’t destroy another nor will we have wars” God is Love.
    I think also, it is rather absurd that someone who professes to preach the word of God, would use the forum to discredit another servant of God. The Holy Spirit convicts and convinces men.
    Sarah Ann [Barbados]

  8. Gary on May 23, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Apparently the power of Bishop Curry’s sermon appeared here as well…..Carey, is 3.6k shares and 77 comments records for one of your blogs?

    Layperson here – who tries to teach/share the Word with middle schoolers and adults in various life groups – who has also never had any interest in royal anything including a wedding – despite my wife’s many conversations with her sister and friends about all the “excitement” of Saturday morning. But wow..just wow. I heard the buzz and then I watched the sermon on youtube…as did thousands of others. And there it was…..offered through the wild world of mass and social media…a preacher who clearly and passionately connected God to Love….and the compelling (at least to middle schoolers and “trying to be more than just Sunday Church sitting” adults) message that when it is all said and done – our charge is to love God and love each other….as demonstrated over and over again by our savior Jesus Christ as described through the living Bible.

    My excitement continued when i saw this blog – which seemed to share the joy of a gospel message reaching the masses – even those described as “royal”. And then I was quickly brought back to reality as i scanned the various comments here. On Sunday, my Pastor shared the “59% of millennials raised in Church have decided they are done with us” stat….just the latest in what seems to be never ending sea of negativity.

    Brothers and sisters in Christ – if God is love and if sharing that kind of love with others is our charge….we’ve got a lot of work to do.

    • Kelli Scott White on May 23, 2018 at 10:51 am

      Yes, yes we do. Well said.

  9. J. Cool on May 22, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    Unfortunately the comments by some of the readers in the British press has not been very flattering. For the people of a disgraced empire which at her height governed a fifth of the world’s population on a quarter of world’s land, while committing crimes against humanity, sermons like this look like naive expressions of a former slave. Had that nation really had the decency to appreciate the ‘power of love’ even a few decades ago, atrocities such as Amritsar massacre, Boer war genocide, mass torture at Britain’s gulags and hundred other monstrosities have not happened.

  10. Laura on May 22, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    I am a layperson (not a minister). I thought this sermon/homily was wonderful. He was engaging of his audience, those present and those tuned in via television. He was passionate. He was believable. He preached the gospel and his eyes shone of its light. He seemed to attract people to him and maybe, just maybe, there will be those who did not know the gospel previously and their lives will be chnged and transformed. All I can say to his sermon is Amen and Amen.

    • Esther on May 27, 2018 at 6:30 am

      The bishop did not preach the gospel of Christ
      The gospel of Christ saves
      The bishops gospel makes some feel good for a moment.
      The gospel of Christ transforms
      The bishops entertained with “his” passion, and did it well.

      When we leave the whole of Gods infallible Word, we distort why Christ came.
      We are sinners. Christ became sin for us, so that we might be saved.
      May God be merciful to us.

      • Timothy Jones on May 27, 2018 at 7:06 am

        But this life changing gospel doesn’t sell books or podcast space today…stay true to the Gospel my friend

  11. PastorJSB on May 22, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Little more clarity on concern:
    As a pastor myself, I’ve been marrying couples for more than 2 decades. After 10 or so years of doing weddings I shifted from doing a homily to prophesying and declaring God’s love over the couple. This wasn’t because I wanted to act charismatic. It was because I realized I wanted to give the couples something more than a good teaching on their wedding day. (It also made the ceremony 15 minutes shorter.) :o)

    I wanted the couples to know that they weren’t the only ones in the marriage; that Jesus was more than a figure-head or a teacher of good marriage principles. He was there, making His vows WITH the couple while they were making theirs.

    Typically I’d have the couples write out their vows, share their vows, and then say: “And Jesus has promises He wants to make to you as well!” And I’d share one or two scriptural promises as well as very personal words of affirmation, strength and encouragement to the bride and then the groom; and then to the family.

    From my experience, the BEST wedding present I could give a couple (whether they were saved, Spirit-filled, backsliders or just curious knuckleheads) was the rock-solid bonafide assurance that whatever they experienced after they left the church that day, Jesus was with/available to them; ready to give them love, grace, forgiveness, celebration etc. 
To ONLY give them a plaque that said “Love one another” would have been unconscionable to me.

    They need to know there’s One Who will fill up their cup when their love runs out. They need to know there’s One Who will forgive them for the thousandth time when they fail to be the husband they want & need to be. They need to know there’s One there Who will listen if the marriage turned ugly.

    In short, it was unthinkable for me to give them an exhortation to love without assuring them that Jesus was WITH them, in their marriage, binding them together, cheering them, weeping w them, offering grace upon grace to them.

    For all the “feel good” of Curry’s message, for all the positive refs to Biblical love, to NOT declare Jesus’ personal desire to be Immanuel in the middle of their marriage seems one or two steps short of malpractice… in this pastor’s humble opinion.

  12. Mark on May 22, 2018 at 11:10 am

    “When love is the way, there’s plenty good room – plenty good room – for all of God’s children. Because when love is the way, we actually treat each other, well … like we are actually family.
    When love is the way, we know that God is the source of us all, and we are brothers and sisters, children of God.”

    So, when love is the way, how will we respond to a sermon on love…on the redemptive love of God…on the sacrificial love of Jesus? Hopefully, not the way some have chosen to comment on this blog. In my view, love is the central idea of God. Indeed, God is love. Which message better presents the idea of love to the world, Bishop Curry’s sermon or some of the very sharp comments on this blog? As Christians, why can’t we have a dialogue on Bishop Curry’s sermon, or Carey’s helpful thoughts on why he thought it was powerful, or any other relevant topic of our day, with love as the way we do it? We don’t have to all agree, but we should be able to discuss it with love. Why would a non-Christian be drawn to such division and anger? Could you even imagine Jesus responding in the way some have chosen to respond? Time for prayer and reflection!

  13. Tom on May 22, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Ravi Zacharias’ observations of Dr. Curry’s wedding message:

    Before I close, I cannot resist one poignant remark. The message preached by Bishop Michael Curry was extraordinary. Few speakers in the world can match the eloquence and passion of the African-American preacher. One is riveted to every word. I believe a wounded person and a wounded culture tells of the wounded Savior the best. The world heard the gospel that day. Thank you, Bishop Curry.

    • Joe on May 22, 2018 at 11:51 am

      Amen and amen!!! 🙂

  14. Mark Barrett on May 22, 2018 at 7:37 am

    I would say that anyone ridiculing this wedding sermon is probably not a Christian. The Bishop was preaching in a “post-Christian” country and he didn’t wince at the opportunity to share what real love is all about. This is a message that the world needs to hear, because there are so many worldly, ungodly, perverted messages in our world today about what love it, that love isn’t even recognizable anymore. The Bishop nailed it. I hope that Harry and Meghan take it all to heart, and the millions of other also who heard this message also take it to heart. I don’t know anything about the “messenger”, but the message was from God and it was right on the mark. I’ll bet that British, refined, polished, prim and proper audience hadn’t ever heard a sermon like that, and you could tell that the whole audience was riveted by the message. It was a fresh wind from the Spirit that that country needs. It’s a message we all need.

  15. Jo Ann Ingram Summerall on May 21, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    Absolutely the most ridiculous, disgraceful, self centered, grandstanding, insulting, egotistical, self serving, deliberate indifference, intentional malice, wedding speech I’ve ever heard! He deliberately did not follow the script that was previously submitted nor did he follow the time allowance. It was intentional on Bishop Curry’s part. His authentic self was to be tricky and devious under the guise of theatrics and false humor. He did not stay on topic and rambled with ideas and words that had nothing to do with a marriage or wedding sermon. He went with a hidden agenda and lamblasted people that have been faithful followers of Christ all of their lives. Their entire days are filled with LOVE, God’s Love and serving others. Mr. Curry made millions of people uncomfortable. They laughed at him not with him. They laughed out of nervous energy. They laughed because Brits are cordial and polite.
    Had he stayed on topic and in the time frame, he may have been on course for a suitable sermon. A Wedding Blessing, a few anecdotes about the couple that INVITED him, a scripture from God’s Word and a sincere Prayer would have been a healing and welcome touch compared to Curry’s histrionics. Curry’s talk is on video forever, fortunately and unfortunately. When his performance is reviewed in future years it will be ridiculed and mocked for the false spirit in which it was given.

    • Philip Penner on May 22, 2018 at 8:23 am

      Not the way I took it at all….sorry don’t agree with your anger….I guess we can be leagues apart in the way we hear things.

    • Captain Kevin on May 22, 2018 at 8:26 am

      Wow…judge much?!!!

    • Tom on May 22, 2018 at 9:29 am

      Maybe feeling uncomfortable isn’t a bad thing – The Gospel is offensive and should make people feel that way! We have spent far to long as he church of Jesus Christ trying to make people feel comfortable and the slip in something about the Gospel that might stick!

      Praise God for men who have the ability to allow the Holy Spirit to lead them to clearly proclaim Christ!

    • Mark on May 22, 2018 at 2:34 pm

      I’m glad that Jesus didn’t follow the script either. The world was listening on Saturday, and God surely called Bishop Curry to deliver His message. If you can’t hear it, then you need to step back and ask yourself why not.

    • suzanne on May 22, 2018 at 10:58 pm

      Agree totally, don’t give me the “powerful” uplfiting” speech..It was cringe worthy at the best and not at all appropriate in the circumstances. It was a sweet wedding and as I hate the race card and game played, it was more about his lack of sincerity and his message repeated ad nauseum completely missed the mark. He overdid it, the entire speech was produced with a gusto only the South would understand and he played it up as if it were his congregation. The dignity etc was lost and we left the room. Nothing to do with race, black, African American etc. I couldn’t care less, but his over the top “performance” will be a huge negative in years to come. Only the PC media and others will see this s a Powerful enlightening message. A Joke.

    • Donna on May 22, 2018 at 11:52 pm

      Sorry to say but the message needed to preach and the man of God did it with love you for one I pray God will forgive you he preach what the holy spirit put on his heart and that’s what the whole nations need to hear in this time Love it conquered all many will love the message and many will find fault but to God be all the glory

  16. Alan Vink on May 21, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    I think every Christian should rejoice that 2 billion people saw a fantastic preacher and heard a suberb gospel message. I would be surprised if anyone else has had the privelege to preach to so many people in a life time let alone in one 15minute sermon. Simply awesome!

  17. Deb on May 21, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    I did not watch the wedding and have not read all the comments – a few to get the general idea – but I had a similar reaction to Carey’s when I looked on news.com.au and found the text of the sermon COMPLETE WITH bible citations in the body of an article. I told my bible study group that whilst the message and messenger might not have been perfect, this was a perfect example of how God uses the secular or even those opposed to Him (the media appear universally anti-Christian and love a chance to mock us and God) for His own purposes. How many people are talking about this now?! We have a golden opportunity – one of the best openers I’ve ever seen to talking about Jesus and the bible where people otherwise would not ever talk about God (other than to scoff at our beliefs). We should be united in THIS purpose (which appears to be Carey’s purpose) – to go out and tell the Gospel. Oh, and a bit of love might not go astray.

  18. RBB on May 21, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    I was trained in the seminary with almost exactly the same criteria for preaching a sermon. We even had to watch ourselves on a TV monitor so we could critique each other and the professor critiqued us as well.
    Never once in my training nor in yours is mentioned praying & having the Holy Spirit’s power so that we can preach to people as we should.

    I have since learned that those 2 things (prayer & having the Holy Spirit’s power) are the 2 most important ingredients for preparing a sermon & preaching it. There is no substitute for these 2 things for a preacher. When you get those 2, you are doing what God wants you to do, & you are pleasing Him.

    I have used notes & I have not used notes. I have used outlines & I have used full text sermons to preach from. All ways have seen God working in people’s lives. So I don’t think that you can say that not using notes is the best way (look at Jonathan Edwards in his sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”).
    He read entire from a manuscript in a monotone voice with very little inflection. Yet he was able to see God’s Holy Spirit convict hundreds of people & see their lives changed.

    But getting back to the top 2 ingredients (prayer & the Holy Spirit), I would advocate those 2 above all others. The others would also be recommended, but not necessary.

    As far as Bishop Curry’s sermon, it was well done, but lacking in following & adhering to the greatest lover of all time – Jesus Christ. And passion in love is NOT what is paramount in our lives. A person can love & yet be an unbelieving person who will die & go to an eternal Hell. So love is NOT the ONLY thing that is important in this life. But loving & following Jesus & being like Him is.

  19. Mary MacGregor on May 21, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    I personally know Bishop Curry and when I heard he had been invited to preach at the royal wedding, the first thing I thought was, “do they know what they are getting?” He delivered and was totally authentic to his style and the gospel message which is always front and center in his preaching. I have been privileged to hear him on many occasions and whether he has an audience of 50 or 5000 he is always this passionate. I was thrilled to see that he did not wince at the opportunity. He is one of this century’s finest preachers in terms of inspiring listeners with the clear message of Jesus. He is unforgettable and gets the message across EVERY TIME. I appreciate the Duke and Duchess of Sussex having the boldness to choose him to preach at their service.

    • Philip Penner on May 22, 2018 at 8:27 am

      Great word! Thanks for sharing that.

    • Esther on May 27, 2018 at 7:45 am

      Why did Christ come?
      To save us from our sins.

      Where did Christ accomplish this?
      On the cross

      Herein is love

    • Ann Jones on May 29, 2018 at 11:28 am

      I know him personally, as well. He was in true form in St. George’s Chapel. I am surprised that he did not walk in the aisle and sing about The Balm in Gilead. He is a man of God and a blessing to anyone who is fortunate enough to hear him.
      Thanks for your comments.

  20. Carol D. on May 21, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    I don’t usually comment on things like this but feel led to do so today ….
    when I originally heard this sermon live Saturday morning, I was a bit distracted as I was getting ready for a class and finishing my devotions. I actually turned the TV on for the weather report. Bishop Curry caught my attention…and his words thrilled my heart, thinking of the captive audience in front of him. I had never heard of Bishop Curry before and knew nothing of his stance on anything. BUT, what I heard that day was God’s cry to His people regarding LOVE … not a cheap imitation of love, but the truest form of love. I began to pray for the Holy Spirit to fall upon people and to give them ears to hear…. and left it there. Not to offend anyone, but I hope we can remember that Scripture tells us that God used a jackass (animal – donkey) at one time to get across His point. No, I’m not calling Bishop Curry that -I’ve used this account regarding my own self and joked with my pastor about it at times… just making a point that God’s ways are usually not our ways and He can use anything or anyone that He sees fit for His purpose. Not sure if I just got across what I’m trying to say here, but hopefully His Spirit will reveal what my words lack…….

  21. Joe on May 21, 2018 at 11:16 am

    I was surprised at Bishop Curry’s message, BUT WAS ELATED! My wife and I watched it again later. I mentioned it both of my sermons yesterday. I shared Bishop Curry on my FB page. Those that know him know that Bishop Curry is passionate about the good news of our resurrected Savior Jesus Christ.

    To do that a wedding, a royal wedding viewed by hundreds of millions is a “God Moment.” Awesome, praise God he listened to the Holy Spirit and shared the love of Jesus for and example in all relationships.

    His message has inspired me to be more vocal in my faith. The gospel is offensive but not in the way much of social media is portraying this. The gospel is offensive because it calls people to be accountable for their sins, and submit to Jesus for salvation and redemption for their sins.

    I applaud Bishop Curry, I believe untold numbers of people will find Jesus in this, seeds have been planted for the good news to bloom in the lives of many who literally had no idea of what Jesus did and does for the sinner.

    Gary, good for you for sharing! Jesus said people would reject us when we share the good news, because so many even rejected him.

    Keep sharing the good news in all way at all time to all people.

  22. Tom on May 21, 2018 at 10:41 am

    I have been preaching for over 30 years and have preached in many different contexts. You have to know the audience and situation that you have been called to preach. I have presided over wedding of non-Christians and have been asked to not talk about any of that “Bible Stuff”. After explaining that the only thing i can talk about at a wedding (or a funeral for that matter) is Bible stuff – I then have the opportunity to present the Gospel. Each time trying to make it clear and simple. I assume that 90% of the people in that type of context have heard as much as I have shared about the Gospel. The other 10%, believe I didn’t take the Gospel far enough.
    Do I agree with Dr. Curry’s theology of marriage and sexuality – NO! Do I agree with others that it is a work of the Holy Spirit to enlighten hearts and minds to the message they are hearing? YES! We all have our own style of preaching and communicating – If we are preaching with total dependence on the Holy Spirit and not technique – lives are changed. I don’t know Dr. Curry’s heart – but if God can use Jonathan Edwards reading his message that ignited the Great Awakening – God can use Dr. Curry’s message to start another awakening of great proportions!
    I want to make it clear that I believe that salvation only comes through the work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life as they trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross – the taking of the wrath of God on His shoulders for my sins – I am free from condemnation by faith in the One who is the only Way, the only Truth, and the only Life! There is therefore no condemnation!

  23. Ron on May 21, 2018 at 10:22 am

    KEEP YOUR HEAD UP CAREY>
    I Think Carey Has a Servants Heart, as well he’s been gifted w/ a unique ability to help further the growth of the body of Christ & its servants from Exec Staff, to Gents like myself who work in the real world then serve in leadership at local church *where no perfect people are allowed* so in short my few observations from Carey’s observations is this: first I believe he already knows instinctually that Curry already has the Spirit in him, after all only those who believe and have said/accepted Jesus Christ Name aloud can recieve the spirit, as well it doesn’t come and go, I’m no expert Theologian by any means, I just know Jesus / His spirit is in every single person no matter how far they’ve drifted or where they are in thier walk and we’re told to always love in all circumstances Rejoice, key word ALL/ always. as well Let no Harmful word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for building others up according to the need, so that it gives grace to those who hear it” Ephesians 4:29 TLV/NLT
    (Curry’s Need very well may have been both some positive and some corrective comments.
    Hear me out, no doubt we feel different levels of impact if you will of the Spirit, at times I’m flying and in mind sitting right next to Jesus, he’s so close and so real i never want to leave that bubble, then after minutes, hours, days if i’m lucky a few months He pulls it back and i feel like it went away at the end of the day The Spirit is the Spirit, if some theologian out there can tell me where it says there is different stregnths to the power of the Holy Spirit please advise,…. I think alot of times we can forget to Love and always build fellow believers up, no matter what our Differences are (Romans 12+) there are Tens of Thousands Sects of Christianity but we all have one thing in common, Jesus and only he knows how it all fits together at the end of the day, After gettting back from the Middle East for a month I was able to see Christians first hand that use the lords name for profitering and also see them humbled, we all make mistakes and see differences, my main point is I think we could all agree with the very words of God and Always Build one another up and encourage letting no harmful word come out of our mouth, Carey was simply providing some insight as its both his job and gifting, so eh, even if he’s wrong and all the haters are right, let it be, lets just love and pray for them as our God uses everything for his purpose (past, present & future).

    • Cliff on May 22, 2018 at 2:41 pm

      AMEN AMEN AMEN!!!

  24. Ben on May 21, 2018 at 10:12 am

    Carey, You nailed it! As a pastor of a conservative church, I definitely have some differences of opinion on some theological points from Bishop Curry, but was impressed with the boldness he had to share the gospel, and the obvious work to prepare and memorize the message for a crowd that is either uninformed or completely opposed to the gospel. Thank you Bishop Curry! He did an excellent job! and to those who make it sound as if they would have somehow interjected their finer theological positions all in 14 minutes while clearly giving the gospel need to be real.
    Honestly, I am tired of people tearing down other Christ followers and imposing their finer positions on others. I can’t help but think of Jesus’ words to the religious leaders of his day, “WOE TO YOU!” Instead of nitpicking at Bishop Curry, I think we need to come together and thank him for saying what he did. If this was a traditional royal wedding without any mention of the gospel, we wouldn’t be bothered by what took place, but because Bishop Curry didn’t handle the sermon like you would’ve is a woe to you conversation. These remarks that tear down are uncalled for and oppose Jesus’ words that we follow the new commandment to love one another. “By this all people will know you are my disciples if you love one another. Bishop Curry, I love you brother and applaud your boldness with an Acts 17 Athens type crowd. My prayer is Acts 17:34 that some would join Bishop Curry and believe!

  25. […] and sister” to the congregation need to recognize that this is not just a matter of a different technique.  It is a different kind of […]

  26. Steve McElroy on May 21, 2018 at 9:55 am

    It’s was the message, Carey!

    The five points in the article all contribute to a good sermon.

    The power in Bishop Michael Curry’s sermon was something more – the greatest commandment, grounded in Christ crucified, presented in a way that by all accounts rang true for millions watching who may have never heard the gospel.

    Renewed my vision for what God can do through a sermon!

  27. Harry Bundred on May 21, 2018 at 9:50 am

    I hope you allow a voice from ‘across the pond’.

    Firstly I don’t really understand why most of the previous respondents have felt compelled to react in the way they have. As I read it Carey’s post is reminding us of some checkpoints that will help us communicate better. I repeat again I don’t understand why the compulsion to air our unhappiness with the episcopal church practices, why we want to present a straight forward blog post as a ‘rant’, why we want to critically dissect a 14 minute wedding sermon, why we need to take a hammer to bishop Curry’s personal faith, why we become so vitriolic because somebody doesn’t preach a sermon the way we think they should, I think I better stop before I’m accused of having a British rant! I do however get saddened when my brothers and sisters start biting each other and try to score spiritual points.

    I’m not going to tell you what I thought about Bishop Curry’s sermon but I will tell you this, in the last 48 hours as a direct result his televised sermon, I have been able to have almost 20 meaningful conversations, (very few of them initiated by me) about how God can make a difference in peoples lives if they do things His way.

    Sorry this is a bit long, I should have just said “Praise God for the opportunity to share His good news”.

    • Kelli Scott White on May 21, 2018 at 10:20 am

      Yes! Exactly. People who don’t yet know Jesus personally do not care about the very things being criticized here. They want to know this “love” about which Reverend Curry spoke.

    • Ann Jones on May 29, 2018 at 11:26 am

      Fantastic..

  28. Rick Brown on May 21, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Jesus probably would have shown up at the wedding, maybe told a parable, and changed some water into wine. We probably wouldn’t be happy with that either.

  29. Mitch on May 21, 2018 at 9:43 am

    I had not listened to any of the wedding but did follow the link to the sermon. I thought it was a good message for a wedding and much in the style I would deliver. Also, being director over an area of churches and hearing several pastors with various education and training, I am VERY cautious to be critical of another pastors sermon for a couple reasons. First, it is not my call to determine who God will or will not use. Secondly I would not want the same level of criticism and scrutiny toward any of my sermons. I am plenty hard enough on myself. So to Carey, thanks for this post…It was nice to hear him speak and I cannot imagine the pressure to preach and officiate a wedding that literally millions of people will watch and critique.

  30. Nancy Weldon on May 21, 2018 at 9:08 am

    The author of this article is dedicated to methodology and style; there was no mention of the Holy Spirit. Maybe it should have made it to at least number 6 on this list of guidance for pastors. So the question is, did the Holy Spirit lead this homily on passion? Does a passionate delivery mean the Holy Spirit was there? Taste and see that the Lord is good. But, it tasted like wonder bread without the Wonder, the breadth and the depth of God. The church is having a hard time understanding how to reach a substance abuse, party hard culture. Harry seemed to suffer through the pleasant sermonizing. For a fellow like him, that was a start. After all, he’s in love and a party awaits. Since marriage is ordained by God, His Spirit should be showing up and touching these people no matter how bad (or good) the sermon — if the couple are truly seeking Him. Since they appeared bored, I think they needed to be urged to seek. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. I’d like to ask them, did the Holy Spirit touch you and make Himself real in the ceremony? Personally, I have seen more of God and the Holy Spirit in an AA meeting….like the people I met who showed up in a dangerous ice storm to be touched by God. Believe me, there was a Holy Spirit passion. The comment that “truth” was spoken to “power” means what in this context? That’s an odd undercurrent. If you wanted to speak truth to the royal family, it wouldn’t be extolling the virtues of passion. They need grace, certainly, and to be redirected to the source, which is not passion, but the person of God.

  31. peter podlas on May 21, 2018 at 9:06 am

    The Bishop stated – “capturing the redemptive power of love” – and this
    dialogue was created for ?

  32. Sarah on May 21, 2018 at 7:35 am

    So incredibly sad to read the comments after such an excellent article. We all may not be able to “preach like Jesus or pray like Paul”, but when the gospel’s love is lifted up to an international audience and some are disturbed and some are excited and some are awakened – Hallelujah! Praise God! I fear Carey is afflicting the comfortable among us – those comfortable with their dull and passionless preaching that fewer and fewer people can understand or related to in any way, and which are focused only on what is wrong, and not what is right. Look at your churches people! Look at the empty pews and the dutiful but bored congregations! We need to be shaken up, woken up, and lifted up occasionally, and this was one such occasion. Thank you Carey for sharing some of the goodness of this sermon.

  33. Charles Brown on May 21, 2018 at 7:33 am

    I find it interesting that not once in your astute analysis of Dr. Curry’s sermon, did you concede the possibility that Dr. Curry just might have been led by God the Holy Spirit. Was what occurred about theology or divine revelation?

    • Ron on May 21, 2018 at 10:20 am

      Fellow Believers!, Taking No Sides,…
      I Think Carey Has a Servants Heart, as well he’s been gifted w/ a unique ability to help further the growth of the body of Christ & its servants from Exec Staff, to improving the preaching&Decipleship skills for Gents like myself who Serve in Leadership etc.
      In short my few observations from Carey’s observations is this: first I believe Carey already knows instinctually that Curry already has the Spirit in him, after all, one believer will know another / only those who believe and have said/accepted Jesus Christ Name aloud can recieve the spirit, as well it doesn’t come and go, I’m no expert Theologian by any means, I just know Jesus / His spirit is in every single person no matter how far they’ve drifted or where they are in thier walk and we’re told to always love in all circumstances Rejoice, key word ALL/ always. as well Let no Harmful word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for building others up according to the need, so that it gives grace to those who hear it” Ephesians 4:29 TLV/NLT
      (Curry’s Need very well may have been both some positive and some corrective comments.
      Hear me out, no doubt we feel different levels of impact if you will of the Spirit, at times I’m flying and in mind sitting right next to Jesus, he’s so close and so real i never want to leave that bubble, then after minutes, hours, days if i’m lucky a few months He pulls it back and i feel like it went away at the end of the day The Spirit is the Spirit, if some theologian out there can tell me where it says there is different stregnths to the power of the Holy Spirit please advise,…. I think alot of times we can forget to Love and always build fellow believers up, no matter what our Differences are (Romans 12+) there are Tens of Thousands Sects of Christianity but we all have one thing in common, Jesus and only he knows how it all fits together at the end of the day, After gettting back from the Middle East for a month I was able to see Christians first hand that use the lords name for profitering and also see them humbled, we all make mistakes and see differences, my main point is I think we could all agree with the very words of God and Always Build one another up and encourage letting no harmful word come out of our mouth, Carey was simply providing some insight as its both his job and gifting, so eh, even if he’s wrong and all the haters are right, let it be, lets just love and pray for them as our God uses everything (leaders/Pastors/Bishops alike) for his purpose (past, present & future).

  34. Nancy Weldon on May 21, 2018 at 6:52 am

    It is not angry to want some depth. Quite true the couple chose this preacher. They had every right to. Any sermon for an event this large and in this beautiful setting would take center stage and get attention. In fact, it was a great opportunity.

    I’m not angry about the message. Its just that it’s not exemplary or worth copying. It was passionately and joyfully delivered; few would dispute that.

    If you read the blogs of the wedding party afterwards, basically everyone had a hangover from the strong drink and beer pong. The drinking may not be the end of the world, but the fawning over this message and the sense that if you have love, all will be well, is truly the world’s message. Passionate love was not meant to be enough. Actually, this family desperately needs a deep connection to God.

  35. JaneM on May 21, 2018 at 5:39 am

    There are certainly a lot of angry people on this blog site. Remember the bride and groom chose him, knowing he would give a message of inclusion. As for using notes, I have always used them, but with a lot of eye contact. I think that’s a matter of choice plus ability to connect. Thanks for the suggestions on what makes a better sermon.

    • Anthony DiMaio on May 21, 2018 at 7:02 am

      Inclusion? Glad tidings. Good news. Yes. Somehow this word inclusion is slipping into the Gospel. Inclusion according to scripture means, all are sinners. Yes, inclusion. Fact, not all sinners think they are, and not all sinners choice Jesus’ sacrifice, which brings us to EXCLUSION. The inclusion of the Gospel hinges upon the Conclusion that there is no other way. BY the way, anger is not the sentiment, it is alarm, like a parent seeing their child about to wander into traffic. Act quickly. Love redemptively. Live gratefully. To those who do not understand we are in a spiritual battle, anger can be mistaken for vigilance.

      • Leonard Edloe on May 21, 2018 at 10:55 am

        Inclusive? Yes, the Gospel of Jesus is inclusive. I normally don’t quote scripture, however; For God did not send his Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:17 or: Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. Matthew 21:31. Some have been reading the Gospel of Jesus through a lens of Eurocentric theology with that theology being a gold standard for so long that they miss the true message of Jesus. To me it appears that the spirit of The Pharisees that Jesus called out so many times has taken residence in The Bride of Christ.

  36. Captain Kevin on May 20, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    Carey, you hit on a hot topic!! 🙂

  37. Phoebe on May 20, 2018 at 7:57 pm

    Sad. Where was the mention of Jesus Christ in all of this? The first ten minutes this guy didn’t even mention anything Christ related. It put me to sleep. Sad. This is not my Gospel, this is your so called gospel.

  38. Harry Court on May 20, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    I know your talking style – persuasive without notes, eye contact – just like some historical dictators also honed this skill. It is a good skill that can be used for good and bad. His fire story went too long – people lost the connection.

    Yet Curry repeatedly used the word ‘love’ – but I am not sure of his understanding of that word matches scripture fully. If it’s definition is based on his church’s last conference on cross-dressing clergy and gay marriage than what he means is no different than the placards we see in the
    rainbow parades

  39. David on May 20, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Although Bishop Curry could have accomplished more with less, his passion and conviction that the politics of God are more inclusive than exclusive, more humane than inhumane resonated with him. As far as his style is concerned, my guess is St. George’s Chapel doesn’t experience that sort of preaching very often, if ever. I commend him for his sermon. Who are we to say how many got “saved” from that sermon. His message aroused the faith in the sleeping and the slumbering, and sometimes that’s about the best that a preacher is going to get.

  40. Nancy Weldon on May 20, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    How shallow. It’s now all about process and not content? Eye contact? Really? And this was a message to a royal family that’s been run by passion, one that parallels our culture’s mantra, “if it feels great, it’s good.” Yes, it is a popular message for our current culture and fairly daft.

    That is not to say it isn’t wonderful to be in love or that the gospel can be lived without love. Who doesn’t love a wedding, especially a royal wedding?

    However, being a pastor to pastors, Mr. Nieuwhof, isn’t it your responsibility to inform your pastors of this Bishop’s actual background and positions?

    The Episcopal Church’s mainstreaming gay marriage, the Bishop’s church, has a little problem with having SEIZED the assets of churches that didn’t go along. But as long as the Bishop is for “love” and diversity, it’s swell.

    You do know that the mainline Episcopal Church isn’t exactly thriving? How about there’s a huge drain under the church? Very old people in the pews? And we’re talking about eye contact?

    It is now a dying denomination. Why is that? The message that love covers anything is everywhere. You don’t need any more of Christianity if that’s all it is. His reductionist “Christian” message was this: it’s good for a lifetime of passionate romance and caring for your relationship.

    That’s it? I think the sequel should be all about how to have fun. Again, that’s not a subject the royals need help with.

  41. JOHN STONE on May 20, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Only this, after 30 plus years in a Presbyterian context, I can see we have commenting preachers of differing traditions to whom I can say-visit some churches that are not your denomination and please let God have say in who gets saved and who doesn’t by the preaching of His Word. As to what the current way the too liberal Book of Common Prayer states-or doesn’t state, and make apostate Bible denying commentaries on “love,” I think the Bishop’s sermon was one that could be used by the Holy Spirit and probably was if we believe what Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3. God doesn’t wait for our approval to do His work in the most unlikeliest of situations. Now, think of this-how subversive God is —the most dead, the most liberal to this side of whoopee, most religious looking, formal blast from the past of English pageantry(the main point according to planners, I am certain, and how God managed to get a fired up preacher in there so that literally millions would hear the Gospel that far too many have never heard and will nor seek out-not wanting to appear uncool by going to a church OF ANY KIND. Hmmm. AND THEN THE LIBERAL, LEFTIST MARXIST MEDIA PLAYING IT ALL UP–it’s just too sweet. And I think Carey is right on to point out his what works and what doesn’t work for a preacher wanting to glorify God and get people into the Kingdom. Let God be God-He will. And thank you for that Lord. Still a fan.

  42. D. on May 20, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    I thought his sermon was horrible. He was way too animated, was literally bouncing around with his hands on his hips, like he was the head part in a play. He was arrogant, loud, and looked like he was on bad drugs. What was all this political talk anyway? Why the mention of MLK, Jr? A political ploy no less? Everyone in that church was uncomfortable, even the bride. This guy looked like a fool. Don’t use the Royal Family/wedding as a platform for your political rant. Good Lord.

    • Captain Kevin on May 20, 2018 at 8:24 pm

      D. If it were a political rant, what exactly was he trying to accomplish? Using MLK as a political ploy…for what? I don’t know what sermon you were listening to, but I heard a message about love. I do think it lacked in many ways, espousing a very nebulous view of love, but political rant? Doubtful. As for his animation, you obviously have not seen/heard many African-American preachers. If anything, he was comparatively calm and measured. “Everyone in that church was uncomfortable, even the bride.” Be honest, it was really YOU who was uncomfortable.

  43. Adam G on May 20, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    Why is it that people always ask for a response Jesus didn’t do altar calls yet thosands we’re saved let’s believe more in his power than man’s it’s a human thing to do altar calls so we can Pat ourselves on the back because people look like there being saved. I’ve seen so many people go forward accept Christ then disappear attending no church no small group nothing yet lately I seeing more people saved because believers be Jesus in communitys there we share the Gospel but it is the Holy Spirit doing the work people are being saved same as me and many I know found Jesus without an altar call. Let’s stop being so not picky over every little thing people don’t do to your standard how do you know God didn’t tell him what to do. Look at your own walk when was the last time you help lead people to Christ by moving away from being not picky and actually bring Jesus in this world WAKE UP CHURCH it’s the devil making you not really living for Jesus I’ve been a follower of Christ for almost 9 years lead a church and have seen churches treat people worse that the world WAKE UP CHURCH focus on Jesus that is all we need to do be Jesus in your community work with the Holy Spirit please so over all this finger pointing.

  44. Sam Vijaysenan on May 20, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    Hi Carey
    I have been following your blog post.
    Am a bit surprised by you and many others giving so much importance to Curry preaching. I also liked his style. Motivational speakers do too.

    But here is my problem….
    Bob Ditmer recently wrote an article in the churchleaders column about the change Episcopal church made in the book of common.

    I quote the first 2 paragraphs.

    “In an effort to become more gay-friendly, the Episcopal Church in the United States has decided to scrub the words “husband” and “wife” from Episcopal wedding ceremonies.

    The changes to the denomination’s revered Book of Common Prayer removes the phrase “the union of husband and wife” and replaces it with “the union of two people,” and replaces the section that talks about part of God’s intention for marriage being “for the procreation of children” with the phrase “for the gift of children” to make it more acceptable to same-sex couples who may wish to adopt.”

    How do you say he is a good preacher? Yes he spoke on love excellently.
    But according to book of common which he believes as he is the presiding bishop it is clear the love he spoke can be between 2 men or 2 women or any combination since he no longer believes marriage is only between man and woman but any two people.

    I think many people like you have missed this. Absolutely he was nice to hear, see but he himself didn’t believe the way the word of God had spoken about Gods love.
    I’m not denying that there were truths expressed but it was not The Truth.

    I guess we like the charisma not the truth.

    I wish you had stayed away from writing on this. I feel it was not needed.
    Sam

    Ps. I will follow your blog.

    • Jason Haddox on May 21, 2018 at 6:15 pm

      The Episcopal Church has not made any such changes to its marriage rites in the Book of Common Prayer. There is considerable discussion about what changes MIGHT be made (if any) in future revisions, but that is all. Please check your sources.

      • Tony on May 22, 2018 at 12:31 pm

        I replied yesterday, but perhaps my comment didn’t make it out of moderation. It is very likely that the Episcopal Church will make the revisions mentioned by Sam in July at their General Convention. In the interests of full disclosure, I am a former Episcopal priest who now serves an Anglican Church that is under the oversight of the Anglican Province of North America.

  45. theartist on May 20, 2018 at 11:27 am

    The Bishop never extended an invitation to receive the Saviour (Christ Jesus). Am I correct to I believe EVERY sermon should include an invitation to receive Christ as Saviour? Does not matter the time. event, place, etc.
    As a layperson, I am Personally asking-is any sermon really COMPLETE without
    “the icing on this wedding cake?”

    • Captain Kevin on May 20, 2018 at 2:13 pm

      Preaching that always includes an invitation to receive Christ is certainly a noble practice. If this is a personal criteria for you and others for choosing a pastor, then that is what you should look for. We have to be careful, however, that we do not insist that ALL sermons include an invitation, when scripture itself does not require this.

      • Chuck on May 21, 2018 at 9:05 am

        Thank you.

  46. PastorJSB on May 20, 2018 at 8:16 am

    That his message was refreshingly flamboyant in an austere context ”yes”. This was at least half of its appeal. Having watched it twice now, I believe the other half of its appeal to the world lie in the fact that it wasn’t really gospel at all. While Jesus was presented a a great example of selfless love, He was clearly not presented as the great Object of our selfless love. No call to the cross. No call to adoration of God. No call to the exhilarating reign of Christ. It was another humanistic (albeit exuberant) call to human-empowered love. While tantalizingly told, it was nonetheless devoid of the key element that curse-bound humanity needs in order to actualize that love: surrender to & embracing of the Person of Jesus, the Christ, Himself.

    • Tom Benyon on May 20, 2018 at 4:11 pm
      • Kelli Scott White on May 20, 2018 at 8:15 pm

        ^^^ Yes! Thank you for sharing. I do not understand all the criticism. Rev. Curry shared the Gospel on one of the largest platforms, and did it in an engaging, powerful, beautiful way!

      • Tony on May 22, 2018 at 12:35 pm

        Yes, millions, if not billions watched. But, did they hear the gospel? What I heard was the inclusive love gospel of the Episcopal Church, which, I believe, St. Paul would label a false gospel if he were here on earth today. The gospel according to Bishop Curry is a gospel of affirmation of all kinds of alternative lifestyles.

  47. John on May 20, 2018 at 7:47 am

    I am somewhat surprised by all the attention this homily has received in these past 24 hours. It was a passionate homily on the nature and importance of sacrificial love. However, aren’t all of us called to sacrificial love – married, single, ordained? It seems to me that he missed the mark and opportunity to talk about the gift of married life and love, the commitment to faithfulness & fidelity, the gift of family … Ultimately, as a wedding homily I found it lacking. It also seemed to be impersonal and disconnected with the couple themselves (whom the bishop never met before.) Am I missing something?

  48. Anthony DiMaio on May 20, 2018 at 6:52 am

    Carey,
    I get about 200 emails in my box a day. I have always looked forward to your emails. Fresh perspective. Until now. Yup. You are highly respected. You are listened to. You love God. But I am not so sure you got this right. What might be even more disturbing is what it revealed about you. We both agree that the church today may see less people going that in decades past. Michael Curry did what he wanted to. Did he deliver the truth? That is questionable. I can mash up all the good vegetables and make you eat them raw, doesn’t mean that you are going to come back and ask for seconds.

    1. ​He didn’t use notes – He didn’t need them, since many people stopped listening after the first 10 minutes of his rant.
    2. ​He made eye contact with everyone​ – And almost was slapping the people in the first row with his hand gestures, and he wasn’t even Italian.
    3. ​He was passionate – passion never validated a message in the bible. Come on now.
    ​4. He knew his talk inside out – I know the Hail Mary too, doesn’t mean it makes for a good sermon at a wedding.
    5. ​He brought fresh language to a timeless subject – now if he spoke in tongues, I might agree with you, but I doubt people actually heard what he was saying because of the way he was saying it.

    Last point. I think you are just being politically correct. I share a great deal of the gospel at meetings every week. None of the criteria you gave is a benchmark for preaching. The only benchmark of good preaching are the salvations that follow. I now understand that what you say and write is seasoned with the flavor of our culture: the seasoning called safe.

    • Captain Kevin on May 20, 2018 at 2:29 pm

      “The only benchmark of good preaching are the salvations that follow.” So, if a preacher delivers a sermon that is faithful to the message of the Gospel, and no one who hears it receives Christ as their Savior, then it is not good preaching? That is, after all, the “only benchmark.” What if believers in the congregation are led to worship and adore God at a deeper level than ever before…or feed and clothe the poor in Jesus’ Name…or intercede on behalf of the sick and downtrodden…or share the Gospel within their own spheres of influence? Can one rightly say that a sermon, used by the Spirit of God to empower and inspire the people of God, is NOT “good preaching?” I certainly hope not.

      • Stevp devo on May 21, 2018 at 4:41 pm

        Great reply Captain Kevin

    • Tim Jones on May 20, 2018 at 2:45 pm

      Anthony-My sentiments exactly! I have no idea where Carey is coming from with his recent “no notes” philosophy—please pick something else to rant about Carey. I don’t look as much forward to his blog anymore

    • Tony on May 21, 2018 at 12:25 pm

      I read Carey as commenting on methodology and style, not on content. He was speaking about why Curry connected with many in his worldwide audience. On that basis, I think that Carey highlighted legitimate reasons.

    • Dave H on May 21, 2018 at 3:51 pm

      Wow! You thought that was a safe message? He Bishop delivered a powerful message about the love of God, Christ’s sacrificial death, the work of God in the human heart. He affirmed the historicity of the scriptures, miracles and all, in front of a worldwide audience. I was captivated and moved.

      Loved it.

  49. Leonard Edloe on May 20, 2018 at 5:52 am

    I have been preaching since I was 17 and will be 71 in less than two months. I grew up in the Methodist tradition, so handwritten, hard to read notes were no problem. When I decided I wanted to be ordained, my high school government, who had become the first African-American female bishop in the United Methodist reminded me, if the bishop moves you, what are you going to do with your pharmacies. I joined the Baptist Church with my manuscript. Even one of my patients chided me about the manuscript. One Sunday I was at Chapel at Howard University. The preacher was AME Zion. After service, I told him how I wish I could preach without notes. My preaching gained power on that day when he told me, deliver the Word, whatever way God gives it to you. My Homiletics professor taught me to be my authentic self. As a pharmacist, there a certain expressions that only a pharmacist could relate to. I preached a sermon in class and my professor told my classmates, you can’t use his stories . We must be faithful to the text. We must make the text revalent to the congregation. We must be passionate. Bishop Curry knew he had an international audience . He had the courage and God gave him the strength, in the seat of Power and wealth, to speak of love that this world does not know and few have the courage to address.

    • Kelli Scott White on May 20, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      Yes! This. I agree.

  50. Sheila McJilton on May 20, 2018 at 5:06 am

    Bishop Curry is actually the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the head of all the Episcopal bishops. He has always preached powerful sermons, because not only does he use the techniques you note, but he weaves his African-American heritage (spirituals and writings of African Americans), as well as scripture and the Episcopalians Book of Common Prayer) into his sermons. He is also not afraid to speak truth to power. I was raised Southern Baptist, & owe my knowledge of holy scripture to my heritage, but am now an Episcopal priest. I have never been prouder to be an Episcopalian Christian and to say “That’s my Presiding Bishop.” What a witness for Jesus!

    • Sam Vijaysenan on May 20, 2018 at 5:03 pm

      I agree he is the presiding Bishop of Episcopal church.
      Did you know that they changed the following in their book of common.

      But here is my problem….
      Bob Ditmer recently wrote an article in the churchleaders column about the change Episcopal church made in the book of common.

      I quote the first 2 paragraphs.

      “In an effort to become more gay-friendly, the Episcopal Church in the United States has decided to scrub the words “husband” and “wife” from Episcopal wedding ceremonies.

      The changes to the denomination’s revered Book of Common Prayer removes the phrase “the union of husband and wife” and replaces it with “the union of two people,” and replaces the section that talks about part of God’s intention for marriage being “for the procreation of children” with the phrase “for the gift of children” to make it more acceptable to same-sex couples who may wish to adopt.”

      How do you say he is a good preacher? Yes he spoke on love excellently.
      But according to book of common which he believes as he is the presiding bishop it is clear the love he spoke can be between 2 men or 2 women or any combination since he no longer believes marriage is only between man and woman but any two people.

      If the royal wedding was between 2men or 2woman, Curry based on book of common would have preached the very same message as he does not see any contradictions with Gods word.

      I think many people like you have missed this. Absolutely he was nice to hear, see but he himself didn’t believe the word of God.

      I guess we like the charisma not the truth.

      • RMM on May 21, 2018 at 5:40 am

        Those changes to the BCP have been proposed by a working committee but not ratified by a General Convention.

        • Tony on May 22, 2018 at 12:36 pm

          It is very likely that those changes will be ratified by the General Convention in July.

      • Jason Haddox on May 21, 2018 at 6:23 pm

        Um, no.

        The marriage service of the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church has not been changed, because it requires two consecutive General Conventions (over a period of six years) to approve any such changes. And that’s after such changes are proposed–which they have not yet been. Nor will they be at the upcoming Convention this summer–the soonest any such thing could be considered will be in 2021.

        There’s been a great deal of talk on all sides about what changes might be made in the next edition of the Book of Common Prayer (Note the title), but that is entirely speculative. Please check your sources before making statements about another faith traditions’ practice and customs.

        • Captain Kevin on May 21, 2018 at 7:18 pm

          Jason, thank you for clarifying.

        • Tony on May 22, 2018 at 12:38 pm

          Yes, that’s right. We expect the first affirmative vote to be in July at the General Convention. Then there will be another round of censure from the majority of provinces in the Anglican Communion, which will likely be followed by silence from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

  51. Dave Francis on May 20, 2018 at 1:00 am

    Hi Carey, Thanks for your 5 practical reasons why Curry’s sermon connected so well. I will refer to them when I prepare to speak in order to help me decide whether I ready to speak. As a footnote, I’m so grateful that God uses me in spite of me. God’s best, Dave
    P.S. I look forward to reading The Art of Better Preaching.

    • Tony on May 21, 2018 at 12:27 pm

      They will likely be ratified by the General Convention in July.

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