Why do preachers preach?
Since the goal of preaching is to change lives, preaching is the ultimate tool for church growth. But how can you be effective in communication through preaching? Listed below are eight questions to ask about your preaching.
1. Who will I be preaching to? Asking questions like, “What are their needs?”, “What are their hurts?”, and, “What are their interests?”, will help us focus on where the people are. Why ask? Because although there are three things that always get one’s attention:
- Things that threaten us.
- Things that are unusual.
- Things that we value.
“A preacher can only consistently keep people’s attention by focusing on what people value.”
2. What does the bible say about their needs? Since the Bible is the Book of Life, is will have the answer to peoples needs! The preacher’s task is to show the Bible to be relevant for today’s needs.
3. What is the most practical way to say it? Application is the central task in preaching. So, preaching must be practical enough for people to know what to do. How to make preaching more practical?
- Always aim for action.
- Tell the people why.
- Show them how.
Exhortation without explanation leads to frustration. Too often people respond to a message with the expression, “Yes, but how?” In other words, I agree with what you’re saying, but “how do I do it?”
4. What is the most positive way to say it? Jesus never tried to convert anyone with anger. Although the Scriptures clearly warn of judgment, negative preaching only produces negative people.
- Promote the positive alternatives to sin and preach humbly.
5. What is the most encouraging way to say it? Everyone has three fundamental needs:
- To have their faith reinforced,
- To have their hope renewed,
- To have their love restored.
The key to encouraging people is don’t just tell it like it is, but also tell it like it could be.
6. What is the simplest way to say it? Jesus taught profound truth in simple ways. Since a person forgets 90 to 95% of what they hear in seventy-two hours, the sermon needs to be definable in a single thought. How do you simplify the sermon?
- Condense the message into a single sentence.
- Avoid using religious terms.
- Keep your outline simple.
- Make your application fit.
- Never make a point without a picture.
7. What is the most personal way to say it? People today are skeptical and resistant to sales pitches, so the message must be made personal “He’s preaching to me!” How do you preach with impact?
- Honestly share your struggles.
- Honestly share your progress.
- Share what you are learning.
8. What is the most interesting way to say it? To the unchurched, dull preaching is unforgivable. Vary your delivery! Jesus told stories about people and He also used humor. Humor relaxes people, makes painful medicine easier to accept and creates positive emotions.
In summary, good effective preaching is not just an accident. It should be thought through. Finally, the most effective key to preaching is simply LOVE PEOPLE!