Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sticky Sermons

We've all heard our share of forgettable sermons. Some of us have preached them.

No one intends to bore people with the gospel, yet it happens every Sunday all over North America.

But this need not happen.

The most important ingredient in an effective sermon is a preacher who is filled with the Spirit. There is no substitute for the power of the Holy Spirit working in the life of one who proclaims the gospel in actions as well as words.

Yet there are some specific things that a preacher can do to produce sermons with messages that last longer than the walk to the parking lot.

In Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath list six characteristics of "sticky" ideas.

  • Simple
  • Unexpected
  • Concrete
  • Credible
  • Emotional
  • Story

A good sermon will have a single point. "If you say three things, you've said nothing."

A sermon should "break people's guessing machine" and then "fix it." Jesus used this when he said, "You've heard that… but I say to you… "

The message needs to be concrete rather than abstract. Preachers are also victims of "the curse of knowledge." They forget what it is like to be a non-specialist.

The content of a sermon needs a source of credibility. Some preachers try to fake this by claiming that their interpretation is "the Word of the Lord."

Facts have little power. Sticky messages have emotional impact.

Stories have power. The Bible is essentially one big story. The gospel is good news. It should never be reduced to steps, principles or tips.

This book is an excellent resource for anyone who needs to deliver any message.

Pastor Rod

"Helping You Become the Person God Created You to Be."

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