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Andy Stanley: Are You Missing This Key Part of Your Sermon Prep?

“If you’re in a conversation about a topic, topics are sequential. It’s like, let’s start here, then build and build and build and build. So consequently, the topics that I generally choose, there’s not a book of the Bible about that topic.”

“I really approach preaching like I’m a local church pastor, like I’m literally talking just to the people in the room or in the rooms of our multi-site campus. So I’m assuming incorrectly, I’ll admit, I’m assuming everyone watching is going to follow me through the entire series.”

“I’m not talking to the people who drop in occasionally to hear a sermon. I’m talking to a local church and a group of local churches that I feel compelled to disciple. And discipleship is a conversation, and discipleship takes time.”

“I really have such a heart for unchurched people. And so I, from time to time, want to put the wide, wide, wide end of the funnel out there for the person who’s considering faith for the first time or of reconsidering faith for the first time in a long time so that there are the lower rungs on the ladder.”

“I frequently say, ‘Hey, if you’re not a Christian, this next part is not for you. This is optional. You can try this if you want, but if you’re a Jesus follower, we know we’re under obligation to do this.’ So I’m constantly differentiating in terms of who I talk to.”

“What we try to do is within the context of a series, to create that opportunity for people to understand the gospel for the first time, not necessarily in every sermon, but certainly in every series. But honestly, I preach mostly from the New Testament, and I am constantly talking about following Jesus.”

“There are people who are looking for certain phrases, and if those phrases aren’t there, it’s like, ‘Oh, you’re not evangelistic. Oh, you didn’t share the gospel.’ Well, actually, some of those phrases Jesus never uttered.”

“To me the win isn’t, ‘Oh, that person prayed a prayer or became a Christian.’ For me, the win is for the non-Christian and the skeptic to go, ‘You know what? That made sense.’”

“I believe enough in the sovereignty of God to know that my preaching and teaching on its very best day is not enough to enlighten and enliven a heart. So I’m not discounting evangelistic preaching, but we all know there is a lot more to it than that.”

“Probably 80% of the adults we baptize will reference [our] Starting Point [groups] because that’s where the lights came on for them, because they were in a conversation where they were able to get their questions answered and take those next steps.”

“I am believing that people in our church are taking a chance. They are risking their reputation, they’re risking family Christmas being peaceful by inviting their friends and their neighbors to come.”

“Sometimes I think it’s just a matter of saying, you know what, I thought I was finished preparing this message. I’m not finished because my bottom line is a long sentence, or it’s two sentences or it’s a paragraph. You know, what’s that thing, [that ‘sticky statement’]?