By John Jackson
Preaching Thoughts for Pastors: Vision Quest -"Notes on Preaching"
Things I'm Sure Of…
• The Word of God has the power to change lives
• It is only the Word of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, that produces changed lives. It is never about us. It is always about Him.
• An encounter with God and His Word is never a monologue. It is always a dialogue because the Spirit makes it alive to the hearers; while we live in a visual era, preaching will never grow old because the truth of God's Word will always penetrate hearts and will not return "void"
• Preaching is communicating divine truth through human personality(Phillips Brooks)
• People want to laugh, learn something, leave with tangible stuff (Robinson), People come to church with a clicker in their head.
• Ask to whom am I speaking?(I Cor. 9:22-23, Eph. 4:29)
• Basic Outline: Need-Examples-Plan-Hope-Commitment-Expect Results. (Warren)
• "If you want to be really smart, you'll give people what they need in the guise of what they want"(Pat Zondervan)
• Annointed preaching follows annointed preparation(U.S. Average 8-12?)
• If you can't say it simply(in one sentence), then you simply don't know what you are trying to say
Things I'm Pretty Secure About….
• You are communicating to foreigners. They do not speak your language. You must learn theirs. What are the keys to their mind, their heart, their spirit, and their feet?
• "Sermons catch fire when flint strikes steel. When the flint of a person's problem strikes the steel of the Word of God, a spark ignites that burns in the mind."(Biblical Preaching, Robinson, p. 163)
• Preaching Calendars help your program and support teams. Andy Stanley uses the following: Big Hook (Immediately following Easter), Relationships(Mothers' Day-Father's Day), Summer(random topics with common theme), Fall(Personal Growth…regrouping after Labor Day, and Spiritual Life). Seasonal(Thanksgiving through Christmas), New Year(Mission & Vision), February/March(Book Study…typically 8-10 weeks), Pre Easter(very evangelistic).
• Three things get our attention: Things we value, things that are unusual, things that threaten us(Warren)
• Never make a point without a picture(Warren, Swindoll example)
Things I Struggle With….
• We are in a visual generation. What can you do to make your preaching auditory, visual, and kinesthetic?
• Always have to be application oriented…what do you want them to know, to feel, and to do? Always aimfor a specific action and tell them the how also
• Move from the known to the unknown, the familiar to the unfamiliar. You can teach them timeless truths but they better be rooted in today or they'll never make them real in their lives.
• "Ideally, each sermon is the explanation, interpretation, or application of a single dominant idea supported by other ideas; all drawn from one passage or several passges of Scripture"(Biblical Preaching, Robinson. P. 33)
• Make your applications the points of your outline-put a verb in each point(Warren)
• The Bible determines the substance of your message, people's needs determine the structure(Warren)