March 15, 2012

Preach Better Sermons

I'm watching a live conference put together by the people at Preaching Rocket. It's all about Preaching Better Sermons. As a youth minister, when I talk about preaching, sometimes people look at me strangely, not realizing I am not only called to be great a dodgeball and ordering pizza, but also at communicating the Word of God. If you lead a student ministry, you need to get better at communicating God's Word - even if you're already pretty good at it. If you are a preacher, you need to get better at communicating God's Word - even if you're already pretty good at it.

If you missed the webcast, here are some highlights (not complete notes or many quotes) from some of my favorite preachers (who are also still learning).

Perry Noble:
  • Plan Ahead.
  • "Communicating for  A Change" - Andy Stanley (great book for communicators)
  • 40 messages per year. How do you decide what to say?
    • Read to hear from God, not to find sermons.
    • Preach out of the overflow of your heart.
    • Keep track of thought 'kernels' (evernote)
    • Find great visuals
  • Plan with a team of people with various points of view.
  • Don't put too much stock what fans and foes say - listen to friends.
  • Let the Bible drive the message.
Jud Wilhite:
  • Be personal - share your life through stories to remove barriers.
    • Don't just share someone else's amazing story - build common ground by sharing your story.
    • Where does your experience overlap your listeners' life experience?
    • Share honestly - don't just make stuff up.
    • Communicate to the broken.
      • Think about how different people will hear what you're saying
      • How will the hear what God wants them to hear?
    • Communicate the Word.
      • Preaching is not about me - not about the listener - it's about Jesus.
      • Be sure to use language that everyone will understand.
        • Don't water stuff down - but explain what you mean!
    • Communicate for Next Steps
      • Can people see the connection with real life?
  • Don't cop out & be lazy in preparation - this stuff is important!
  • Park in one passage, don't just jump all over the place and lose people.

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