I haven’t quoted from Peter Mead for a while. His stuff is so rich, I find myself not jumping into it and then suddenly I have built up too big a backlog of his blog posts that it becomes intimidating. But his writings are always meaty.
Yesterday he was talking about introduction. The subject arose because he had been with a group of evangelists who work with the military. Soldiers will not tune them in unless the evangelists have gotten their attention. But this is the same with people in the pews:
A preacher can’t take the introduction to a sermon for granted.… People are living real lives with real issues. When we launch into our message by simply stating a reference and reading the text, we give no real reason for hearers to hear. We should presume distraction and fight for their focus. Find a way to connect, demonstrate early on that what you are going to say is relevant to their real lives and people will lean forward to listen. Choose to default to a non-introduction and people will settle back in the pew and let their minds wander elsewhere.
Whether we are sharing the gospel in a conversation, or preaching the Word in a church, we need to give thought to connecting early and engaging our listeners with the message. Unengaged listeners may be many things, but they are not truly hearers.
I find it hard to find the right balance between not being too boring and not being too cheesy or sensationalistic. But I keep trying!
Find the entire article here.