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The Preacher's First Mistake

Yet day after day and week after week, I listen (as do millions of Americans) to messages in which the preacher misses this simple mark.

And it’s not just about creating one good hook for one message; it’s about creating a great hook for every message, every week.

So how do you go about creating a great hook?

It all starts with your mindset. It starts with you believing that everyone in your congregation has a sin nature that means they only care about what’s interesting to them.

Once you own that, you’ll want to practice what John Stott calls “quadruple thinking.”

First, you think about what you want to say. Then you think about how they’ll hear what you want to say. Then you rethink what you want to say so they’ll hear what you want them to hear. Master that and you’ll become proficient at the hook!

And my final recommendation would be this: Before you start writing or outlining your message, make sure you write, at the top of your paper/page, in big bold letters, “WHAT’S MY HOOK?” If you do that, you’ll be way ahead of most preachers and you’ll find that a whole lot more people in your congregation are more fully engaged with your messages each week (and no longer daydreaming about what’s for lunch).

Why don’t you ask yourself these two simple questions:

“In my last message, what was my hook?” And secondly: “How do I know if I hooked them?”

If you’ll start asking those questions of every message, you’ll be astounded at how much better people listen to you, and then are changed by your message!