I have not ready many books on communication/preaching, so I was excited to get through Communicating For A Change by Andy Stanley and Lane Jones. Andy is senior pastor at North Point Community Church and Lane is campus director at one of North Point's campuses.
The first half of the book is a parable about a pastor that is discouraged and hopeless. It follows his encounter with a truck driver that pastors at truck stops throughout the country. In the course of their encounter seven principles for communicating are discovered. The second half of the book is Andy writing as he goes through each of these principles. The principles are:
- Determine Your Goal - know WHY you are communicating. For weekend services Andy contends the goal is life change (good name for a blog too!)
- Pick A Point - Andy's father (Charles Stanley) was a well known preacher and a master at multi-point sermons (like most pastors use.) Andy's approach is much different as his philosophy is that any sermon should be based on ONE point, no more.
- Create a Map - Have a plan for your message... basically an outline. Andy uses a map that is ME-WE-GOD-YOU-WE.
- Internalize the Message - Preaching and teaching God's word is not only a privilege but carries huge significance for those that are in the audience as God is using you to reach them. While Andy does not say you must memorize every message, he does say you must internalize it and have a burden for it and the audience.
- Engage Your Audience - Don't be boring. Keep your audience involved.
- Find Your Voice - Don't try to emulate someone else. Find your gifts/strengths and use those.
- Start All Over - This one point wasn't really that strong. Basically he talked about strategies for when you get stuck in preparation and the key questions to make sure every message answers.