Summary: Walking with the Lord is definitely not a walk in the park. We will definitely encounter numerous obstacles, and some people will even judge us for being different.
Walking with the Lord is definitely not a walk in the park. We will definitely encounter numerous obstacles, and some people will even judge us for being different.
If we look into this Bible verse, we will see how the devil deceives people and make them think otherwise: 2 Timothy 2:23-26, “But reject foolish and ignorant controversies, because you know they breed infighting. And the Lord’s slave must not engage in heated disputes but be kind toward all, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance and then knowledge of the truth and they will come to their senses and escape the devil’s trap where they are held captive to do his will.”
One question will definitely linger: “How should we make our sermons more relevant so people will come to church?”
Reading through an excerpt from Andy Stanley’s Communication for Change, I learned that whether you speak from a pulpit, a podium or the front of a classroom, you don’t need much more than blank stares and faraway looks to tell you you’re not connecting. In order to capture the attention of your audience, you have to take heart on what you’re doing. If you believe in yourself, you will be able to convey your message in the most powerful, life-changing way it deserves to be told.
In his book, Andy summarized everything using five key questions we need to ask when preparing a sermon.
1. What do they need to know? INFORMATION. Start with a story or a trivia that you think will be new knowledge. From there, identify a situation, using the terms like “We all face…”
2. Why do they need to know it? MOTIVATION. Offer the core teaching that is relevant to the subject at hand. What’s the lesson? What’s the point? From where should motivation enter?
3. What do they need to do? APPLICATION. Give people a personal challenge or guidance using statements like, “When you encounter…try and…” or “This week, make time for…” Make it crystal clear how your audience can apply your teaching to their own lives.
4. Why do they need to do it? INSPIRATION. Talk about impact and stories. These will absolutely change lives and change perspectives.
5. How can I help them remember? REITERATION. Wrap up with a vision. Repeat the terms you used and make sure that they would remember everything. Close in prayer.
If you follow these questions accordingly, your sermon preparation time will reduce significantly.
These five questions could by amplified by the Bible verse from 2 Timothy 4:2
“Preach the message, be ready whether it is convenient or not, reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and instruction.”
It may not be easy to research information for your preparation, but as long as you go to the heart of the message, you will be able to apply and inspire.
Here are a number of ways, which we can also use in order to fully heed God’s call of evangelism:
1. Direct – This is going straight to the point when sharing the gospel of the Lord to someone. Most people find this intimidating and would rather change the topic. This is not a bad style at all, as long as you are equipped with the right words and way of speaking. You should not be very aggressive in speaking and you should consider the state of whom you are talking to.
2. Intellectual - Before doing this, you have to make sure that you have researched well about the Bible and its history. This is crucial because you could end up in heated debates if you’re not using the right tone and words.
3. Testimony – This is perfect for people who have so many stories to share. Some people may still find this intimidating, but by setting the right mood on your conversation, the dialogue could be seamless.
4. Interpersonal- This may take time and a lot of sacrifice, but this will be a sure way of getting the heart of your prospects. By getting to know them, you will be able to find out what keeps them awake at night or what bothers them.
5. Invitational – This could be used when you are already sure about the person you want to listen to the word of God. You may also do this for people whom you consider to be interested.
6. Serving – Serving is also a way of setting an example to people around you. If you live a life similar to Jesus’, people will start believing in what you say. It’s quite easy to do favors for your friend or neighbor, but if they can see how foolish you live your life, they will be doubtful of what runs on your mind and heart.
It’s difficult to share the word of God to people, but as long as you’re taking a step, you will never get lost in the trails and tracks of salvation.