Though I mentioned this in a recent post, I want to expand this idea. Much of my preaching ministry has not even given this a second thought. My aim has been to communicate biblical truths to people in the room, hope for a response, hope that some jotted down notes to refer to later, and move on to next week’s sermon. And, to be very honest, I still struggle with implementing this.
However, Jesus said we are to be about making disciples (Matthew 28:19); and Paul said pastors were to equip the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12
). So, how can a preacher’s preaching ministry help disciple a congregation who is able to then go and make disciples of Jesus while ministering to others? One way is by arranging and communicating a sermon so its truths can be easily understood and communicated by hearers to others. Let me give you a couple of suggestions as to how to begin implementing this into your own messages:
1. Highlight main ideas as quotes on the screens.
Key thoughts or phrases or quotes need to be accessible to your hearers during the sermon. If your message has one main idea, make sure it is highlighted on a screen throughout the sermon. On the one hand, it helps them process it personally. On the other, it will help them know what to write down so they can pass it on later.
2. Keep your outline short and simple.
If you use an outline, make sure the points are both short (both in number and in length) and simple. Work hard at putting the essence of what you want to communicate in an easy, understandable word or phrase. It will help your audience to catch the point AND make it easy for them to teach it. If they have to write down a long sentence and/or 8 long sentences, not only will they be tired – but they will not be enthused (or well equipped?) to teach.
3. Mention the goal at the beginning and end of your message.
If not every Sunday, on a regular basis, tell the congregation what you hope they do with what they hear/learn. Tell them you want the sermon to live throughout the week, not only in them, but in the lives of others. State it as they are turning in their Bible’s to the passage to be studied. Close the service with a phrase like, “Who do you know who needs to hear what you have learned today?” Help your people begin to think in these categories by saying it over and over and over.
4. Use social media during the week.
Post the key phrase(s) from the sermon on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter. Do the same with key points that support the main idea. Encourage them on video posts to share what they are learning. Ask your people who they are communicating these truths with. Leverage the places (on-line) your people live and prompt them with this idea.
What are some ways YOU implement this in your preaching rhythms? What ideas come to mind as you process this?