How to Sweeten Your Sermons with a Little C.R.E.A.M. (Part 4 alliteration)


C.R.E.A.M. stands for contrast, rhyme, echo, alliteration, and metaphor. From a human perspective, they represent five ways preachers create words and phrases that are pleasing to the ears of those that have ears to hear. You’re working hard with the Spirit to understand your preaching portion. You’re also working hard with the Spirit to best communicate that meaning. Lord willing, your words will work and worship will occur.

When done subtly, alliteration can help you communicate God’s Word effectively. Alliteration is using the same letter repeatedly. Most preachers are familiar with alliteration as an outlining tool. It can also be used in a sermon manuscript to help listeners hear God’s Word and respond.

So, before Sunday, look at the sermon manuscript you’re building. See if there are strategic places where alliteration could help communication take place. Check your sermon title. How about your main idea? What about in the application?

Classmates have used alliteration effectively. David Deters preached Mark 4:35-41 and talked about Jesus, “the nobody from Nazareth.” Or, in his sermon, Ken Carozza described someone having been “numbed with novocain.”

If you’re so inclined to work with C.R.E.A.M., a thesaurus will help you immensely. It’s especially helpful when creating phrases that use alliteration.

If you read part 1 of this series, then you heard me talk about how paying attention to style (word-choice) was not a strong suit of mine. I have to work at it, but I’m still average at best.

It is my desire to effectively communicate in the power of the Spirit. I am vexed at times not knowing for sure whether working with words crosses the line into human-wisdom territory. That might be a great assignment for my next class (Does working with words violate Paul’s model not preaching with human wisdom? Defend your answer.). Not you, though, because you’ve got a sermon to prepare (*smile*).

Preach well for the sake of God’s reputation in the Church and in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:21).


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