One Mistake To Avoid In Preaching

How do you begin your sermons?

Current trends show that we spend time to share announcements, welcome people and our multi-site campuses if we’re an online community. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this strategy, we believe there is a better way.

I took my 6-year-old twins to see Disney’s new movie, Coco. As the theater turned dark, we watched 20 minutes worth of previews. After the previews, in full expectation of the movie, a mini Frozen movie came on the screen. The “mini” movie was 20 minutes long and led to great frustration for both of my children – even though they love Frozen. 40 minutes is a long time to make 6-year-olds wait to see the feature presentation.

My kids weren’t the only ones that felt this way. In the days that followed, Disney quickly pulled the mini Frozen movie due to the complaints of parents across the country.

The Frozen movie was great BUT we came to see Coco.

Let’s think about this experience as we consider how we present our sermons. Everything that happens before the sermon leads up to the main thing. At the point of the sermon, people are ready but we often miss the momentum and spend the first several minutes of this precious time on items that have nothing to do with what the Lord has asked us to share that day.

Is welcoming people bad? No. It should happen, but not at the beginning of the sermon. Do announcements need to happen? Yes! Just not at the beginning of the sermon.

A more direct and powerful way to start a sermon is to incorporate an opening line that captures everyone’s attention. Come out of the gate swinging and you will have more people lean in.

Some examples include…

  • Have you ever struggled with ________________________?
  • Today, I want to talk to you about _____________________. As we dive into God’s Word, I believe that He has some powerful things to show us the importance of ______________________.
  • I have often wondered _____________________ about God.

Introduce a problem to your church that needs to be solved. Ask a question that others will wrestle with. Tell people what you want them to get out of your sermon. When you jump right into things, others will lean in.

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