One of your jobs as a preacher is to teach your listeners how to live out the truths you preach from Scripture. If your goal is simply to educate or inform your audience so they can be more knowledgeable, then stop preaching. Preaching, of necessity, requires application. We’re preaching for life-change. We’re preaching to make the written word become the living word in people’s daily lives.
Recently my church hosted the Sacred Marriage Conference with Gary Thomas, bestselling author of Sacred Marriage, Sacred Search and others. My wife and I gleaned some helpful insights from Gary’s teaching over the weekend, and it was nice to meet him personally.
During the conference I listened to about five hours of his speaking. It struck me toward the end of the weekend that I enjoyed his teaching so much that I wasn’t getting tired of him. This is a rare quality in a speaker and one that we can learn from as preachers. He had some approaches and techniques that set him apart as a communicator. I observed five things that we can glean from his approach that will make us better preachers. Some of these are standard best-practices of public speaking, but his execution of them was excellent.
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As a preacher, it’s easy to focus on your content and not really consider if your listeners are ready to hear it.
You’ve been studying your material all week, and you’re totally energized by it. It’s all you’ve thought about for days. You are so excited to finally share these thoughts that are bursting out of you.
But your listeners aren’t there yet. They walked into church with everything on their minds except your sermon. They have nowhere near the same level of enthusiasm about your topic that you have.
That’s the way it works. You care. They probably don’t.
So what can you do?
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