I watched the Preach Better Sermons conference yesterday. So much great stuff when it comes to preaching and growing as a communicator.
Here are some things I learned that are dynamite for preachers:
- 90% of unchurched people choose a church based on the lead pastor & the preaching.
The First 5 Minutes of a Sermon – Jeff Henderson
- If you don’t engage people in the first 5 minutes, it is very difficult to grab their attention again.
- When you start a sermon, you have to assume the worst. You can’t assume that people are already are listening.
- In the first 5 minutes, great communicators are shrinking the gap: the physical and emotional gap between the person speaking and the audience.
- Connect with the audience first, then bring on the content.
- Connection is the most important thing in the first 5 minutes, not content.
- Communicate that you are there to help people, not impress them.
- 5 tips for the first 5 minutes: be like able (smile), tell a story, create tension (make them wonder what the solution is), ask, “Have you ever felt like this?” (this creates understanding), and tease the solution (say, “there’s a way to get ahead in ____”).
- Preaching is a gift. Ask God to steward his gift in you.
The Pain of Preparation – Jeff Henderson
- If we aren’t careful, we skimp on preparation.
- If we don’t get ahead on our preparation, our preaching suffers and our church suffers.
- The better you prepare, the better you preach.
- Preparation starts with empathy. You have to be empathetic towards the people you are preaching to.
- When you have empathy, it causes you to make sure you are prepared.
- Questions to ask for preparation:
- What does my audience currently think about this topic? Where is the pain point?
- What do I want my audience to think about this topic?
- What is my single most persuasive idea?
- What do you want them to do?
- Until you can say “because of that, this is what I want you to do” your sermon prep is not done.
Transformational Preaching – Derwin Gray
- Consecrate yourself.
- You preach out of the overflow of your time with God.
- Always preach the good news. People need good news, not advice.
- Be compelling and clear.
- Too many pastors are not overwhelmed by Jesus so they look for other things to be compelling.
- Preach convicting sermons.
- At the end of the sermon, people should want to join Jesus’ cause.
- What was working?
- What could have made this better?
Crafting Memorable Phrases
- A sticky statement is one that someone can memorize and utilize in their life.
- One sticky statement repeated several times.
- Sticky statement is your big idea, it is your elevator pitch of your sermon.
- Can people take your sermon and remember it?
- To create sticky statements, you must P.R.E.A.C.H.
- Give people a word picture.
- Rhyming is key to a sticky statement.
- Use an echo in your statement: Nobody expected no body.
- Use alliteration (contrasting): your soul is more important than your stuff.
- Contrast different things.
- The hook is what makes it memorable and tells them what you want them to do.