Today I watched the Preach Better Sermons online conference from Preaching Rocket. So many good things to take away. Here are some nuggets from the speakers:
- A preacher preaches best when he preaches out of the overflow of his heart.
- Talk to people who you will be talking to.
- The mind remembers more of what it sees than it hears.
- Pastors have foes, fans and very few friends. Know who they are. Don’t listen to foes.
- Friends love Jesus, the church and you (in that order). That’s who leaders should listen to.
- One thing I’d tell preachers: Let the Bible drive the sermon. Listen to other communicators.
- To find common ground, communicate from your life. Start the sermon by sharing something from your life that relates to the topic.
- The most powerful illustration you can use are ones that your lived experiences overlap with the listener’s shared experience. The second most powerful are your learned experiences that overlap the listener’s lived experience.
- Preaching is truth through personality.
- Another way to find common ground is to communicate to the broken.
- Think through specific people in your church and ask how this applies to specific people.
- Another way to find common ground is to preach the word. Preach Jesus.
- 90% of those who visit a church say that the preaching is the reason they come back.
- You can’t assume people know what you’re talking about when you say words like grace, gospel.
- Communicate for next steps. Can people clearly see the connection the Bible has to my life?
- Apply the text to your life, their life, and the church/city.
- Have a crystal clear next step.
- Me-You-God-You-We. This outline still transforms my preaching.
- Me says, “I struggle with this.” You/we says, “I bet you do too.”
- Answer how someone does something with what I say.
- People need to not only know what to do, but they need to know what is at stake if they don’t do it.
- Answer they question, “Why is it important for my church to know this. What do I want them to do? How will they do it?”
- The why question raises the stakes.
- When you preach, do you have a burden?
- Preach in phrases, sound bites. Jesus did, “Know the truth and the truth will set you free.” So much truth is packed into that phrase.
- A great sermon has tension; you have to make them want to know the answer to the question.
- Tension is the key to interest.
- Preach to the person who is coming for one last shot, comes because his wife made him.
- Humor for preachers is a disarming, engaging thing.
- Humor is not taking yourself to seriously.
- If you feel or think something, others are as well.
- The best communicators cut the fat, they get rid of useless, unnecessary details.
- How does a church/pastor reach men? Christian men have been portrayed as good sissies.
- Be vulnerable as a communicator; admit you don’t have it all figured out.
- Effective preaching starts with the end in mind.
- Behavioral preaching focuses on the end, what you want people to do as a result of hearing your message.
- Jesus preached to change people’s hearts and then change their lives.
- 90-95% of what we hear is forgotten within 72 hours.
- Do you want to make an impression or make an impact? That’s the question preachers must answer.
- Behavioral preaching starts with you identifying the behavior the Scripture calls for. What does the Scripture say we should live like?
- The Scripture is called a sword and a sword has only one point.
- People need to see the message in your life before they can do the message you’ve given to them.
- When someone hears a message, they are asking, “Why should I listen to you? Can I trust you? Do you even care about me? Do you know what you are talking about?”
- Have a clear behavioral purpose.
- Make sure that as you communicate that purpose, make sure it is clear and simple.
- Use words and phrases that people can grasp and remember.
- Give people points for their head and pictures for their hearts.
- Provide a vehicle for them to do what you’ve been preaching about.
- Effective communicators are disciplined. You aren’t just filling time.
- A man can’t preach any better than he prays.
- A man needs a burden before he can preach. Without a burden, you shouldn’t preach.
- You as a preacher must feel the weight of what God wants to accomplish.
- We’re preaching for impact, not to impress anybody. We want to see life change.
- We need to preach the one thing they have to know when they leave church.
- You can’t think about yourself and make an impact on someone.
- If you are going to preach well, you have to make it your top priority.
- Too often, we preach on our own power, without God.
- Preaching is about the presence and the power of the word of God.
- We need to discover what God wants to say.
- Let the text form a great message in you before preaching.
- The most prepared people are the most spontaneous.
All in all, a great day with a ton of nuggets when it comes to preaching.