NOW is when you say, “Turn in your Bibles to…we’re in this series…” If you jab, jab, jab, well, I CAN’T WAIT to open up my Bible and find out how this passage addresses what we’re talking about.
So, for our purpose, your hypothetical introduction will look like this:
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook to Introduce 1 Corinthians 9:22
Jab 1 (2-4 minutes)
Tell a story about the time you asked that kid to the 7th-grade dance and they said no. Follow it with that Dallas Willard quote about unrealistic expectations.
Jab 2 (2-4 minutes)
Then share the stats of people who get turned down the first time they ask someone out on a date, and ask people to guess the most common “openers” they used that got shot down. Follow that with a transitional statement about if people are scared to ask someone out on a date, “I can just imagine what goes through your minds when you are encouraged to talk to people about Jesus.”
Jab 3 (2-4 minutes)
Next tell the story about how uncomfortable it must have been to approach you when you weren’t a Christian, and how your friend was willing to get uncomfortable to share the gospel, and how there are thousands of non-Christian people living within a 20-mile radius of your building who will never be reached because their Christian friends care more about staying comfortable than their friend’s eternal destiny.
Right hook (1 minute)
THEN say “Turn in your Bible…”
Does the introduction need to be 10 minutes? 100 percent.
“That seems like FOREVER before you get to the text,” I can hear some people say.
The point is you want your people to collectively nod across the room and say, “OK, we’re ready now, let’s do this thing. We’re fired up and want to learn what the Bible says about this topic.”