Today, preaching is more difficult than ever. First, we cannot assume that people come to our church with a basic understanding of the Bible as they have in the past.
But because of all the media we interact with every day – from TV to email to social media – it’s even harder. It seems that someone is always trying to sell something to us or to believe in a new idea.
Just open your email and you’ll be able to see a wide variety of courses, asking you to buy anything from lunch to new fishing rods to your vacation. Turning on the TV, the pitching of the ad continues.
So when uneducated people hear your sermon, they think you are trying to sell something to them. They believe that you are trying to sell them with religion.
This is not your purpose, but your audience often does not know.
Every week you talk to people who are more skeptical than ever before.
When you have a weakness, you have been able to turn up the volume and keep people interested in this way. But you can’t do it anymore. It won’t work.
People don’t want you to preach to them. They want you to talk to them. This is how you keep their attention.
Here are three ways to get people to listen to your sermon:
1. Keep an open mind about your struggles and weaknesses.
Don’t try to hide the pain you have experienced or are experiencing. Be transparent.
It is called confession preaching, it can improve your credibility. When they go through difficult times, your confession encourages others.
I remember once, when I preached anger, I told the church, “You know, sometimes I say the most hurtful things to my favorite people, like my wife and children, which bothers me. Will it bother others?”
Now, I could have told people that they should be better for the people closest to them. I could have used it as an order, but it will immediately put my audience on the defensive.
When you start to confess, people will follow because they think you are like them. Your confession will help your message resonate with authenticity and authority.
One of the keys to effective communication is the ability to put down masks and share real emotions. People will grab your heart. When you yell at them, you won’t get this. When your preaching lets others see what is happening in your life, you will get it.
2. Share your progress.
People grow best through models. In the New Testament, Paul repeatedly told the reader, “When I follow Christ, follow me.” I have read this and thought that I will never do this. This sounds very conceited.
Paul is not saying that he is perfect. If you have to be a perfect model, we won’t have any models in the world. Frankly, I would rather let people follow me than follow someone who is dishonest to follow Jesus. So now, I am not apologizing for trying to be a role model for others.
We need to follow the example of Jesus in the ministry of the incarnation – the Word becomes flesh. The way we communicate has changed. Our news is not just verified by text. It is verified by the messenger.
Most people you preach do not ask, “Is the Bible credible?” They asked, “Are you credible?” They want to know if you have any credibility, because if you don’t believe, they will even you Holding the Bible while preaching will not listen to you.
The message we send every week should look like this: “God let me spend another week.”
If you are not ready to model the message, you are not ready to advertise it.
3. Say it in a fun way.
I actually tried to preach in a fun way. The Bible says: “When wise men speak, they make knowledge attractive” (Proverbs 15:2 GNT). It is foolish to use the Bible to deceive people.
Too many missionaries are under pressure to entertain people when they preach. Do you know what the definition of entertainment is? Capture and stay focused for a while. Do you want your sermon? Of course you did it – you should not apologize for it! Making your sermons interesting doesn’t mean you have to make a song and dance; instead, it means that you help people understand that the Bible is relevant to every detail in their lives.
For unconceived, boring preaching is unforgivable and there is no reason to do so. Our message is too important to adopt an attitude of acceptance or departure. The problem with boring information is that your audience won’t think you are bored. They will think that God is very boring.
How do you preach in a more interesting way? This is not about your charm. You can learn to do this. Start with these three practices.
– Change your delivery. Nothing is more boring than a monotonous missionary, who is stuck at a speed and volume and never appears in the air. Change the speed and volume of the sermon to make your sermon more interesting.
– Don’t explain the problem without a picture. People like stories. Pull them out of life. Pull them down from the people in the congregation. Pull them out of the news.
– It makes people laugh. Humor is good for people. This makes a painful fact more delicious. It creates positive emotions such as joy and happiness. By the way, you don’t have to tell jokes to be fun. The best humor usually appears in real life.
Every week you have the opportunity to preach the Word of God to people. This is a rare opportunity. Getting people to participate in your sermons is how you bring the Word of God into the life of the audience, and the Word of God will change their lives.
This is certainly worth the effort.