4 Must Do's of Sermon Illustrations (To make your message come alive)

sermon prep Feb 02, 2023

As a preacher you want to make your ideas come alive. When you labor preparing a message and perfectly craft your points you’re not thinking, "I’m sure this will be altogether unremarkable, but I’ll give it a try!"

No, you’re thinking, "How can I make them see this and feel it and be changed by it?"

We all want this because, what good is it if you make a great point, but no one feels it? If no one does anything with it?

An effective illustration is the secret sauce that makes your listeners grab onto your ideas on an emotional level. A good illustration will reach out and grab your listeners and pull them into your content. It will make them care.

But how do you use illustrations for the maximum impact? You can have a killer illustration that you misuse and have it fall flat. You can give a great illustration at the wrong time and have it lose its punch. You can have an amazing story that you tell poorly, or an interesting analogy that doesn’t quite...

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My 4-Step Sermon Outlining Method (It's great, trust me ;)

sermon prep Jan 26, 2023

There is almost nothing more important to sermon preparation than your outline.

It is the structure upon which your sermon is built. Without an outline that takes people on a compelling, purposeful journey your sermon will seem aimless.

If your sermon is aimless, people will not give it their attention.

In this episode, I'm going to show you my four-step sermon outlining method. It will give you a framework for building sermons that take people on a meaningful path toward life-change.

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How to Preach Multiple Services (A Survival Guide)

church leadership Jan 19, 2023

Every church I've served has had multiple services, but no one ever took the time to explain best practices for maintaining energy levels while preaching all of them.

Maybe they thought everyone was born knowing this stuff?

Well, I am going to share so that there will be something in the world regarding this topic. ;)

In this episode, I'm going to share my 7-step survival guide to preaching multiple services.

 

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Why You Need a Preaching Team (Complete Beginner's Guide)

sermon prep Jan 12, 2023

Preachers do weird things. One weird thing we do is prepare our sermons alone.

Every week you have to get up in front of a group of people and say words.

Those words have to be engaging, powerful, motivating, encouraging, accurate, practical and spiritual all at the same time.

Every. Single. Week.

And you prepare alone. All by yourself.

I think this started with Moses. He went up on a mountain and heard from God. He came down and told the people, “This is what God said.” We’ve never really changed the model. Preachers have been preparing sermons alone ever since.

I used to prepare my sermons alone. I would read commentaries, watch sermons and research articles, but it was mostly just me, by myself.

If you’re like most preachers, you prepare alone. But is there a better way? Could you benefit from bringing others into the process? The answer is yes, and in this episode, I'm going to show you how!

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4 Things Pastors Wish People Understood About Them

church leadership Jan 05, 2023

Being a pastor is unlike just about any other profession. Because of the holistic nature of the work, we tend to take on “pastor” as an identity and not just a profession.

Add to that the spiritual component that we are not just providing a service to people, but showing them how life is supposed to be lived for God’s glory (no pressure).

Most people don’t quite know what to do with us because we seem like non-persons to them. They don’t understand us, but we really wish they did. We don’t feel any different than anyone else, and sometimes we feel like explaining ourselves, but most of the time we just live with it.

Pastor, I want to speak on your behalf today. I want to help you put into words what you might be feeling and wish people understood about you.

In this episode, I’m sharing from my thoughts and experiences of being a pastor for fifteen years and working with thousands of pastors here at Preaching Donkey. You may not relate to...

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Are you making ministry harder than it needs to be?

church leadership Dec 20, 2022

If you're in ministry leadership, I don't have to tell you ministry is hard.

You know it, you live it.

There are unique challenges to church and ministry work.

But, often we make ministry harder on ourselves than it needs to be.

In this episode, I'm going to discuss a Carey Nieuwhof article where he shares five ways pastors make ministry harder than it needs to be.

In this we'll discover ways we can avoid making ministry unnecessarily difficult for ourselves.

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Three questions to ensure your sermon is ready to preach

sermon prep Nov 30, 2022

With each sermon you preach, you should be absolutely crystal clear what you want your people to take away from it. If you are murky about how they’ll be able to use your message, then you can be sure they’ll be clueless.

As preachers who want to communicate well, clarity must be a top priority in every sermon. But it’s easy, and sometimes necessary, to focus most of your prep time on your content and not your listeners. This makes it so crucial to think through how your listeners will receive and use your message.

In this episode, I want to give you three simple tests that will help you ensure that your sermon is ready to go in terms of its impact on your listeners and their ability to apply it.

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Four things competing for attention when you preach

sermon prep Nov 23, 2022

It’s more important than ever before to work on gaining and keeping the attention of your listeners while you preach. Capturing and maintaining attention is one of the most difficult things a communicator must do.

The reason we have to work harder to gain and keep attention has to do with what competes for the attention of our people every time we preach.

Our listeners are so distracted, and we need to know what we’re up against. Some of these distractions are new, and some are as timeless as humanity, but they are all present every time you stand up to preach.

In this episode, we'll dive into four things that compete for your people’s attention when you preach - and what to do about them.

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Pastor: Stop cheating yourself out of your day off

church leadership Nov 16, 2022

So many pastors get burned out and fatigued because they lack balance.

They are giving 100% of themselves 100% of the time.

This is not sustainable and will lead to an inevitable crash landing. But there are two simple things you can do to keep yourself from burnout: Take a real day off; and have a real vacation.

In this episode, we'll explore why it's so vital to guard your time off as a pastor, and even more importantly, we'll discover how to do it.

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How to overcome preaching DISTRACTIONS (Five ways)

sermon delivery Nov 10, 2022

There are many things that can distract you while you preach.

Distractions can easily interrupt your flow, make you lose your train of thought and potentially derail your message. It’s important to prepare for potential distractions ahead of time so that you're ready when they come.

All preaching distractions fall into one of two categories: internal or external.

Internal distractions exist inside your head. Your mind goes a million miles an hour while you preach. You think about a lot of things in the moment:
-you can’t decide what your next word is going to be
-you wonder how your message is coming across
-you’re not sure if you’ve adequately made your point
-you realized you’ve talked yourself into a corner
-and on and on

All of this goes on in your head while words are coming out of your mouth. It makes it difficult to stay focused on your message. These internal distractions come at you from your own thoughts. No one knows they’re happening...

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