catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 9, Num 14 :: 2010.07.09 — 2010.07.22


A movable sermon

Sound is vibration.  It doesn’t matter if it is a drum, a speaker or the air around us.  This vibration is transferred to our ear, which translates it back into sound in our brain.  Every vibration is a frequency; the speed of the vibration.  And everything has a different frequency when it is hit or strummed: guitar strings or a tuning fork, but also a table, a car and the Brooklyn Bridge.  This is special frequency is called the object’s Natural Frequency. 

If you are able to dial into an object’s Natural Frequency with a powerful sound wave or machine that duplicates the vibration, the object will begin to vibrate, even without physical contact.  There are also other frequencies along the spectrum of sound that will move an object, there are called a resonant frequency.   A simple example: on a guitar, the lowest and highest strings are E-strings.  If you pluck one, the other will begin to vibrate as well.  Or, as seen in this video, an electric guitar’s sound can be used to break a wine glass.

A good sermon will use the principle of resonant frequencies to great effect.  There are preachers who explain the original languages, those who teach historical details, those who tell stories and those who lean heavily on sports analogies.  Listeners can walk away from these types of messages feeling a number of things: impressed, overwhelmed, inspired, or with an even deeper hatred of football.  But they will not necessarily have been moved.  A good preacher will look into a biblical text and then ask, “Where is the resonate frequency with my congregation?”  This is the advantage of being involved with the lives of the congregation, because you’re more likely to know their Natural Frequency. 

It is not necessary to have three points, quote theologians or construct logical arguments — that is, unless these things all resonate on the same frequency.  There doesn’t need to be a tacked-on “application” section at the end of a sermon.  If a preacher has found the frequency of the scripture, knows her congregation and adds a few words that amplify this frequency, then hearts will be moved. 

your comments

comments powered by Disqus