What I Learned from Aristotle about Leading Congregational Worship

Bob Kauflin has a great post on leading worship, bringing up a few thoughts that have never occurred to me:

Specifically, I haven’t learned anything from Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) about leading congregational worship that I didn’t learn first in Scripture. But in his day, Aristotle sought to help speakers be more persuasive by identifying three crucial areas to keep in mind. He called them logos, ethos, and pathos.

Briefly, logos is seeking to persuade through truth. Aristotle was concerned that the speakers of his day, the sophists, focused too much on flowery language and not enough on actual content.

Ethos has to do with the character of the person speaking. Aristotle recognized that listeners tend to be influenced most by people whose character they trust.

Pathos refers to the ability to stir the emotions of your listeners. Important truths are often presented with no apparent response in the hearer. Airline attendants experience that every time they review the flight safety procedures before takeoff.

Continue reading.


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