There is no area in the life of a pastor-communicator where he or she has a greater lack of self-awareness than this: How they are doing at giving the weekly message.
Every week hundreds of thousands of pastors deliver a message that they are convinced is a life-changing, power-packed, totally scriptural talk that will change lives – if there were only more lives present to change!
They are stymied that more lives aren’t there to hear their message and be changed. They can’t figure out why more people aren’t “flocking” in to hear this great and gifted teacher.
Consider these practical ideas to make messages more appealing to the listener:
1. Give just one point in the course of a talk.
I know this counsel flies in the face of what you have been taught at seminary or Bible school, but this is reality. People only remember a very small portion of what you present. Make it simple, simple, simple. In all honesty, people really only take away one point from your message, and that one point should be emphasized.
It is my practice to make a number of points, and sometimes I may even call them “points,” but throughout my teaching-preaching career, sometime as I am speaking, I utter these words, “If you forget everything else I’ve said, remember this one thing…” Then I give it, the one point, to them. It is the summary of everything. It is that one pregnant sentence that covers it all in a short burst.
Each week I spend a considerable time polishing, wordsmith-ing that one line to make it as simple and memorable as possible.
2. Give yourself and your people a great gift – speak for no longer than 30 minutes each week.
In order to do this and not be tiring and cause people to look at their watches every few moments, you absolutely have to know what it takes to engage people at very high levels of energy. Some presenters are naturally high energy presenters and some aren’t. My experience is that this high energy speaking skill is something that is pretty much a natural inborn skill that is – some have it and some don’t. It can be polished and developed to a degree, but it is more than 50% inborn.