Connecting Like Jesus: Practices for Healing, Teaching, and Preaching
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  • Wiley

More About This Title Connecting Like Jesus: Practices for Healing, Teaching, and Preaching


A hands-on resource for all Christians who want to communicate with more passion and power.

Tony Campolo and Mary Albert Darling have teamed up to explore the dynamic connection that occurs when spirituality/spiritual practices are combined with effective communication practices. Churches and other religious organizations depend on the ability of their leaders and members to communicate (speak, teach, and preach) within their congregations and beyond. This important, practical guide will reveal Campolo's preaching secrets and Darling's wise counsel as a professor of communication.

  • Includes interviews with prominent Christian leaders and thinkers
  • Written by two experts on the topic of communication and spirituality
  • Tony Campolo is one of America's most remarkable and beloved Christian communicators
  • This is a key resource written for any Christian who would like to become a more skilled and spiritually mature communicator.


Acclaimed preacher and writer Tony Campolo is professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University, noted author of many books, and a national media commentator on religion, society, and politics.

Mary Albert Darling, associate professor of communication at Spring Arbor University and coauthor of The God of Intimacy and Action, is a frequent speaker at conferences and retreats.


Acknowledgments v

An Introduction to Spiritually Charged Communication 1

Part One: Connecting Like Jesus 5

1 Spiritually Charged Communication: Relational Practices for Connecting Like Jesus 6

2 Soul Healing: Connecting Like Jesus through Care of the Soul 20

Part Two: Practices for Soul Healing 33
Mary Albert Darling

3 It Is About You: Knowing Yourself as the Starting Point for Soul Healing 34

4 From Fear to Freedom: Overcoming What Keeps Us from Others 52

5 Sacred Listening: Hearing with the Ears of God 64

6 Connecting Through Questions: Why Asking Is Better Than Telling 87

7 Conflict: An Opportunity to Connect 98

8 Redeeming Conflict: Prayers and Other Practices for Oneness 116

9 When Stories Tell the Story: The Power to Shape a Narrative 128
Mary Albert Darling and Tony Campolo

Part Three: Practices for Teaching and Preaching 149
Tony Campolo

10 Preparing the Soil: Laying the Groundwork for Spiritually Dynamic Speaking 150

11 Planning Your Message: Crafting the Shape of Your Talk 171

12 Presenting Your Message: Why It All Leads Up to the Finale 192

Postscript for Spiritually Charged Communication 209

“One Another” Verses 211

Using This Book in Small Groups or Classes 213

Notes 217

The Authors 225

Index 227


[STARRED REVIEW] Numerous opportunities for introspection, study, and practice in developing "holy habits" that foster Christ-like communication are presented in this well-organized and accessible guide. Coauthors Campolo and Darling (The God of Intimacy and Action) offer combined expertise in preaching, public speaking and spiritual direction, resulting in a thought-provoking, valuable resource for Christians seeking to engage in "spiritually charged communication." They draw insights from the writing of John Wesley as well as from interviews conducted with contemporary Christian figures Brian McLaren, Mindy Caliguire, and Shane Claiborne to illuminate ways that Jesus' ministry explicitly models how today's Christians can live in "dynamic communion with God, ourselves, others and the world." The authors apply a Christian lens to familiar communication techniques such as empathic listening, practicing forgiveness, and knowing one's audience. For example, in noting the importance of self-awareness for loving communication, they quote Jesus' admonition, "First take the log out of your own eye," and then suggest several spiritual practices to help Christians identify personal strengths and weaknesses. This book's blend of kindly spiritual insights and practical wisdom may well appeal to those beyond the target Christian audience. (June) (Publishers Weekly, April 12, 2010)