5. SPEAK SIMPLY
Don’t make people feel like they need a dictionary or a seminary degree to understand what you are talking about. Speak simply. Use the common language of your audience, so the good news will be clear for all to hear.
6. INVITE ENGAGEMENT
If you want engagement, you need to ask for it. If you want people to be more engaged, it starts with preaching great sermons. But after that, you have to give people permission to interact with your message and encourage them to do it.
How to deliver a sermon? Ask questions. Encourage a response. Ask people to stand, sit, raise their hands or make a noise. Use pictures, videos and illustrations. Crack a few jokes. Tell stories. Allow people use more than their ears in your sermon, but also their eyes, hearts, hands and imaginations.
7. SHOW, DON’T TELL
Don’t just tell me what to do. Show me.
- Don’t just tell me to be a better father, use an illustration to show me how.
- Don’t just tell me to read my Bible, teach me how to do it.
- Don’t just tell me to pray more, tell a story to inspire me to action.
Your application should be more than just a statement telling people what to do. Take it a step further and give examples.
8. ARGUE WITH YOURSELF
After you make a point, argue with yourself. Ask yourself a question that some people in the audience are probably thinking.
- “Come on. You don’t really believe that. Do you?”
- “That’s impossible!”
- “But what about…?”
Object to controversial elements in your sermon before skeptical people do. Then, you can give a thoughtful response to their objections.
9. FINISH STRONG
There are two common reasons that conclusions get weak: The preacher ran out of time and had to end abruptly, or they were lazy and didn’t work to write a strong conclusion, so they keep talking in circles until finally coming to a halt.
The best conclusions are neither abrupt or lazy, but deliberate. They summarize the main point and drive it home. Like a hammer to a nail, you need to hit the central point until you drive it into the mind of your audience. Summarize your sermon, cast a vision for a desirable future, challenge the audience to take action and end with a memorable closing statement.
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This article originally appeared here.