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Here are six reasons why Andy Stanley is one of the top communicators of our time.

1. He understands the people. 

I get the sense Andy truly understands the people sitting in the rows. I’ve heard him reference “your first marriage” many times. Recently, one of his application questions was about child support. This kind of understanding and the real-life examples he works into his messages build credibility.

2. He is a master of the content. 

Andy doesn’t use notes, and if you pay attention you’ll see him reference a slide on the screen just before it appears. That’s because he’s prepared. He knows his material, and he’s not reading it from a sheet of paper.

3. He will get you to agree with him in the first five minutes.

I’ve listened to thousands of sermons from dozens of preachers in my life, and I’ve never heard anyone create tension like Andy Stanley. In the first five minutes of a message, you’ll find yourself agreeing with something. He might say, “You’ve thought this …” and you’ll agree in your heart. Even if you disagree with the truth, you’ll agree with the emotion. This is incredible, because if you can get someone to agree with you about something early on, you’ll be far more likely to get them to agree to take an action step in the end.

4. He speaks to a broader audience.

If you were to watch a video of Andy speaking, you probably wouldn’t know when and where he was when speaking. That’s because he’s not just preaching to the people in the room—he’s preaching to people in other rooms. He knows his audience is larger than the people looking at him. You may think, “I don’t have the need to do that because we don’t have other campuses, and this message isn’t on the Internet,” but the process of speaking “evergreen” will make you a better communicator.

5. He tackles tough topics with grace.

Last year, I heard Andy talk about the tough subject of marriage, divorce and remarriage. He handled the topic with grace, but also spoke the truth. He was courteous and recognized that everyone wouldn’t agree with his message, but that didn’t keep him away from explaining what the Bible said on the subject. People don’t feel beat up, but they know they need to make changes.

6. He speaks with vision.

Andy often uses the word “imagine” and paints a picture for people of what life would be like if they applied the principle he is teaching. He causes you to think about the future, whether he’s talking about marriage, faith or finances.

After a dozen years working with students, and six years a church planter, Michael currently works with churches across the country with The Change Group.

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Mike Spencer

commented on Feb 3, 2015

Yup, Andy surely knows how to communicate. Unfortunately, Andy's message regarding divorce left people without clarity on the subject (if you're talking about his "When Truthie met Gracie" sermon. He also left people without clarity on the subject of extramarital affairs and homosexuality, and then refused to explain further despite the uproar over his obscurantism. Add to this the horror of his unbiblical ecclesiology as represented in the best-seller "Deep and Wide" and one has to wonder why why Christians are still listening. Oh yeah, Biblical illiteracy.

Ranger Harper

commented on Feb 3, 2015

Sad but great comments Mike. His communication skills are top notch! The message, oh the message.

Mike Spencer

commented on Feb 4, 2015

We really need to examine what we are looking for in great preachers, and we really ought to make a clear distinction between great preachers and great communicators. The apostle Paul probably broke every rule that so-called great communicators use to get their message to people, yet Jesus chose Paul to communicate the bulk of Christian doctrine. Why is that? I would speculate that the reason Christ chose Paul was to demonstrate the power of His word over the persuasiveness and pleasantness of Paul's delivery. So much of the church can be described as having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof. The power is only in we preachers as we defer to the word of God. Hermeneutics is more important than homiletics. Paul said that he sought to know nothing among those whom we was sent to preach than Christ and Him crucified. Why is that, and is it not hubris that we presume to deliver the message in some other manner to somehow accomodate our fallen culture. Man's problem is sin, and our gospel preaching is premised on the warning that the soul that sins must die. The fact is, we can learn great communication skills from virtually any quarter, and this is part of the seeker friendly delusion; that we need pastors to tell us how to be great communicators, better stewards of our finances, have better outlooks on life and etc... Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. As "good" as Andy Stanley is, his sermons lack a gospel that will save anyone from their sins.

commented on Feb 3, 2015

Andy is a wonderful preacher particularly to the unchurched and newer Christians. He really needs to layout the Biblical truth toward gay marriage, adultery and divorce to bring back maturing Christians.

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