Preaching is important. The Apostle Paul encourages his young friend Timothy to preach the word, in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2). As pastors and Christian leaders, this means we must always be prepared to preach and effectively communicate the transforming power of new life in Christ.
Most pastors aspire to be good preachers and we’ve all heard our share of sermons. Some great, many good, and some not so good. Effective preaching can be tricky. You must discern what God is saying, put it down on paper (or your laptop), and turn it into a sermon. Then you need to deliver that sermon to a crowd of people with different backgrounds, diverse needs and varying levels of spiritual maturity. And, of course, your goal isn’t that people will just hear your message, but that it goes beyond their ears and penetrates their hearts so that their lives, priorities and actions are changed. Every week!
That’s no small task and we deeply rely of God’s help and the Holy Spirit’s anointing to get that accomplished. While our culture and methods change, the word of God does not. And as preachers, we need to take this to heart as we are entrusted with communicating the gospel to the people of our day. Here are three preaching essentials to effectively reach people of today’s culture.
In the first chapter of John’s gospel, Jesus is referred to as the Word (logos, in Greek). Jesus is the central person of the gospels. So, pointing people to Jesus should be one foundational component of our preaching. Whether you preach verse by verse or talk about different Biblical themes or contemporary topics, the basis of the words must be rooted in the truth of scripture and the reality of the person of Jesus. Doing anything less would be a sad disservice to your people.
But we’ve probably all heard sermons that spoke truth but somehow missed the mark at connecting with people. And while the Old Testament prophet Isaiah said that his words will certainly accomplish their purposes (Isaiah 55:11), we can help our listeners connect with our words by using a few, simple techniques. Continue reading
Excellent communication is a highly desired talent in the American church. Most pastors seek to be great communicators yet unfortunately, many pulpits are void of compelling and effective communication.
Some seek to teach complex concepts and be thoroughly understood. Others simply try hard to entertain their listeners. But the most effective communicators seek to influence their listeners to action. Transmitting information is not difficult. But communicating for life change takes a lot more work.
Transformation and action should be the goal of all Christian communication. But it takes intentionality, hard work and focus. Here are three important elements to motivate people to action.
Tell a compelling story
Stories were the videos of New Testament times. Instead of going to YouTube, people in Jesus’ day would go to the city square and listen to people tell stories.
Jesus was a master storyteller. When he wanted to capture people’s attention, he’d tell a story. “There was once a man who had two sons…” When he wanted to teach a lesson, he’d use an analogy. “The kingdom of Heaven is like…” When he wanted to drive home a point, he’d give an object lesson. “Look at the flowers of the field…”
Jesus used stories to engage his listeners. And you should too. Compelling, well-delivered stories will draw people in, make them more receptive to your message, and help them remember the point you’re trying to make. Continue reading
The MultiSite Guy, Jim Tomberlin, recently said “The multisite movement began as a radical idea, became the cool idea and now is the mainstream idea.” Indeed, multisite is quickly becoming the new norm for growing churches. And video venues are becoming a well-defined, but often misunderstood strategy in today’s church.
Some attendees might say, “I won’t like a video venue because I want to be in the same room as the preacher.” Point well taken. Sometimes a poor video venue experience can be a turn off. But in a well done video venue, people will get past this potential road block very quickly.
I worked in an environment where the video venue experience was done so well that newcomers often wanted to chat with the Preaching Pastor after the service. The Campus Pastor would have to remind the guest that the Preaching Pastor was at a different facility, 15 miles away! The experience was so non-distracting that the newcomer had completely forgotten he was in a video venue. That’s the kind of experience we should shoot for. It takes effort, intentionality, practice, and often money, but it will be well worth it.
When it comes to creating an excellent, distraction free, video venue experience, the old adage is true: “The devil is in the details.” (Unfortunate choice of words, yet still true.) Since it’s the little things that often set poor experiences apart from great ones, here are four critical details that will make all the difference in your video venue experience. Continue reading