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This Practice Will Make Every Sermon Better

A—ALLITERATION  Alliteration may be overused by preachers, but don’t entirely abandon this technique—it’s powerful. “Your boldest moments are your best moments” (from our Bold series) is memorable because of the double ‘b.’ Simple, but it works.

M—METAPHOR  Metaphors engage people’s imagination, and when that happens, people remember more. The Bible is actually full of metaphors (like a ring in a pig’s snout). “When grace and truth collide, your ability to make an impact soars” uses metaphor to show potential. (That line is from our Collide series.)

6. Test it with a team. 

I almost always bring my bottom lines to our team before finalizing them.

Extra input either tweaks them so they become better or finds better options. It also tells you whether you’re resonating or not.

7. Build the rest of the message and series from there.

Once I have my bottom line created, I go back and produce everything else—a series summary, weekly summary (a short paragraph about each week’s message), small group question and everything else that goes into a series. Then that goes to our creative team anywhere from two to six weeks before a series begins for them to finish the design work and get everything into print and online.

The powerful thing about creating a killer bottom line is that you will often hear people repeat them years after a message is delivered.

In my view, no one is better at creating bottom lines than Andy Stanley. As a North Point strategic partner, we run a lot of Andy’s messages. Our people still talk about bottom lines Andy gave years after we have run a talk.

What helps you write a great bottom line?  

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.