tneujahr wrote:Been listening and reading some of Andy Stanley's stuff lately. He promotes an idea that I find quite fascinating and have attempted to integrate into my preaching:
Teach less for more.
How many times do you get bombarded with information each and every day? How much of it do you actually remember? Do you think the same is also true for your parishioners?
When you are crafting a sermon, consider this: What is the ONE THING that I want people to learn from this sermon. To preach the irreducible minimum, you must be able to summarize your whole sermon in one simple statement, and then you must ruthlessly cut out all additional fluff that detracts from that one statement. This is also called being a "one-point preacher."
Everything in the sermon--from the introduction to the close--must somehow serve that one point. It must be a repeated (and yes, a varied) theme.
For example, last week my one point was "Dead to sin, alive in Christ." It was taken from Romans 6, which tells us that through baptism our old, sinful selves are crucified and buried with Christ.
Now, I was very tempted to launch into a discussion on the workings of baptism. I was going to bring in the Small Catechism, maybe talk about the wonders and glories of baptism. I would have spent about five minutes, maybe more, on it. Would that have been profitable? Normally yes . . . but not in this case, because it would have distracted my hearers from the main point that both I and Paul were trying to make, namely that we have new lives in Christ and no longer need to live as though we are still in the slavery of sin.
So, I'm on my way to being a one-point preacher. I find it focuses my thoughts more. My sermons are better crafted, because I have to edit them with a harshly critical eye. They are delivered better, because I don't have to remember numerous points, just the one. I'm done with offering sermons like "The Seven Words of Christ on the Cross" or even "Five Ways to Improve Your Marriage", because dumping multiple pieces of data on folks just dilutes the entire message and they can't remember it all anyway. From now on, I'm going to say ONE THING per sermon, and if the topic demands more I'll preach that next week.
pastorjimg wrote:Another way to prevent data dump on people and keep your sermons to the point- preach for no more than 12 minutes. This has helped me a lot!
pastorjimg wrote:Yes, it works for me and was offered as a suggestion. Preaching is very personal. What works for one doesn't work for all.
Along those lines I read that the attention span for a man is about 12 minutes- a group I am intentional about reaching. I found in that process I accomplished a lot of what is being discussed in this thread.
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