I’m watching the online conference Preach Better Sermons today and wanted to share some of the learnings I picked up. One of the speakers was Andy Stanley, who is one of my favorite communicators. He’s the author of Deep and Wide and one of the best preaching books out there, Communicating for a Change, as well as a must-read for any leader, The Next Generation Leader.
Here’s what I got out of Andy’s segment:
- Preacher’s are addressing two crowds: Christians and not yet Christians.
- One of the myths of preaching is that if you have unchurched people in the room is that you have to dumb down things or skip over things.
- The key to capturing both audiences attention is not content, but approach.
- Approach makes something interesting or not.
- Let unchurched people know that you know they are in the room. Tell them this is the best weekend they could’ve chosen to be here.
- Acknowledge the odd things in the Bible. “If you are new to this whole thing, this may seem like a crazy story.”
- Let people with doubts know that they are not alone.
- Give unchurched people permission not to believe but also not to behave.
- Dare them to try this at home.
- The foundation of our faith is not Scripture, the foundation of our faith is Jesus.
- Any background you can give about a person in Scripture is a win. It helps people connect with real people.
- Cite authors in the Bible, not the Bible. Say, “The apostle Paul or John said,” not “The Bible says.”
- Bring energy to your text not to your stories.
This was the best session of the day. I would spend a ton of money to hear Andy talk about preaching for hours.