Many preaching books focus on the importance of preaching and provide steps to help preachers develop relevant sermons that reflect the meaning of the text and connect with contemporary listeners. It is interesting to note, however, that few books on preaching focus on the importance of delivery in regards to preaching. I recently finished Preaching with Bold Assurance by Hershael York and Bert Decker, which contained a section on sermon delivery. The book reminded me of the importance of sermon delivery. While some might argue that content trumps delivery, ineffective delivery will keep listeners from receiving the message (no matter how great the content is!). In short, sermon delivery matters.
Aristotle has long been recognized as an influential thinker, and his Rhetoric has had a profound impact on communication theory. According to Aristotelian rhetoric, much of the speaker’s success depends on his ethos, pathos, and logos. While logos is related to the content of the message, ethos and pathos are both related to the delivery of the message. The speaker’s character (ethos) and emotions (pathos) come through in his delivery of the message. Therefore, to minimize delivery is to downplay the role of ethos and pathos in communication! For specific suggestions for effective sermon delivery, I would recommend the following preaching books:
Christ-Centered Preaching by Bryan Chapell (I mainly included this book because it is my favorite book on preaching; it does contain an appendix on sermon delivery, though)