The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


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

Campolo and Darling write about "spiritually charged communication"

Connecting Like Jesus: Practices for Healing, Teaching, and Preaching is a collaboration by Tony Campolo, professor emeritus at Eastern University, St. Davids, Pa., and Mary Albert Darling, associate professor of communication at Spring Arbor [Mich.] University (they also wrote The God of Intimacy and Action).

Book cover: Connecting Like JesusHere they are concerned with practicing "the spiritually charged communication" demonstrated by Jesus. To help with this ambitious task, Campolo and Darling enlisted commentary from other Christian leaders.

As imitators of Christ, we are challenged to heal the souls of others. First we must become more aware of how we relate to others. Darling presents the "Prayer of Examen" as a good starting point.

Other suggested exercises open us to others and deepen our relationship with God: centering prayer, sacred listening, connecting through questions, forgiveness, shaping powerful narratives.

The book's last section revolves around Campolo's suggestions for teaching and preaching effectively. One of his points is: "Messages to draw people to the kingdom of God must be marked by passion lest they be little more than religious lectures" (Jossey-Bass).


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Embracing diversity