Help Them Understand
Every time you preach, you have something important to convey. Not only is your lesson important, the weight of people’s eternal souls can hang in the balance. If not their souls, at the very least, there relationship with Christ can deepen because of the information YOU are sharing with them!
What we do every week is important! That importance is what makes this topic so urgent. You need to teach to help your audience understand your message. This is your responsibility as the teacher! As a precursor to this post, I encourage you to read my previous post about ways to check if your audience is getting what you’re saying. Today, however, I want to go over some things to make your messages more “sticky.” Step you can do to help your sermon stick to people’s hearts!
How can you do this?
Pray. Pray. Pray again. If you’re not praying, don’t expect your message to stick. It is far too easy for us to make our message in our own power. Pray for the people’s hearts (and yours) while preparing your message.
Teach less. I have heard too many great sermons ruined by preachers saying, “time is short, so let me get through this last point.” Why not just preach the two points and apply that? If your passage lends itself to it, focus the one point! (Check out Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley and Lane Jones for more about one point preaching.) If you cannot remember your points from your last message, your audience NEVER will. If that’s the case, you have too many points. Preach less information and then reinforce that over and over again.
I have heard too many great sermons ruined by preachers saying, “time is short, so let me get through this last point.”
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Say important things again and again. If you repeat it, it will be much more likely to stick into your audience’s heart and mind. My rule of thumb is that by the time I am tired of hearing the same thing again and again, people are just starting to understand.
Have the audience copy you. If it’s a key verse or point, have people sign it with you. This works well if you do it again and again. For example, recently I preached on “pray without ceasing.” I had them sign “DON’T QUIT” again and again until they understood that they never need to quit praying!
Have them fill in the blank. This can be written or spoken. I use fill in the blank message handouts, but I’ll also ask during my message for them to sign the word when I stop. For example, going back to my “pray without ceasing” message, I asked several times throughout my message “Don’t WHAT?” until my audience got the right answer.
There are many more ways you can make your message more sticky. These are some quick tips that anyone can do during your massage to help drive God’s message deeper into the hearts and mind of your audience, because what we do is that important!
How do you make messages stick while preaching?