with Pastor Claude Hickman
We have the most important message in the world, but we have the least training in the church to do it well. God is the most creative communicator in history. He teaches us all we need for life and godliness through stories of victory and failure, prophecy and poetry, songs, history, and sometimes humor. Jesus not only changed the world by what He had to say but He amazed people with the authority and creativity of how He said it. And sometimes He ended a sermon with a miracle!
I’ve spent over 20 years training communicators in ministry and ministries in churches and in professional settings. These four sessions will give you the best of that content to help you find your own voice and your own style with some guidance from those that have also spent years working at it. In this series, I have gathered a few of my close friends and fellow communicators to have a vivid and fun conversation about preparing to teach. We cover topics like the discovery process, outlining a message easily, how to use stories, and how to guard truth in all we teach.
Just like Elijah built an altar but then had to back away and ask for the power of God, a sermon involves man and God. We faithfully work in preparation and planning but then back away and look to the power that only comes from the Spirit of God in a message that burns in us by His grace alone.
This teaching series won’t teach you how to end your sermon with a miraculous healing but we hope it will build an alter for the miraculous work of God to display His glory through and change peoples lives.
Session 1 – Starting the Process with a Burden from God
In this session we will discuss our diverse journeys with learning to communicate as well as challenges we have faced. Getting started is often the most difficult part and no person can really give us a burden. Even when we have a topic, our best messages come from a personal burden by the Holy Spirit. This is something that comes from time in prayer, bible study, and watchfulness of our culture and context.
Session 2 – Creating a Need and an Outline
We have to learn to draw our audience into the problem they face and the consequences of sin. People have felt needs but God says they have real, eternal needs. Preaching is the biblical persuasion of making people’s real needs into their new felt needs. We will talk about creating a need and adapting a very simple four-point outline that works for almost any speaking situation.
Session 3 – Making a Lasting Point with Great Stories
“Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, He never spoke to them without using such parables.” Matt 13:23 (NLT) Once we know the biblical truth we are called to communicate, learning to use stories can help people remember and translate those truths into their daily lives. We will discuss becoming a better story-teller without being gimmicky and cute and how to drive stories and illustrations to a memorable, biblical truth just as Jesus did.
Session 4 – Using Humor to Build Trust
In this session we will discuss the role that humor plays in our culture and how self-directed humor can actually model self-awareness around a subject quickly. Humor can often speak truth into a difficult subject and build a common bond needed to offer biblical answers. As we close out the teaching sessions we discuss other practical steps toward growing as a life-long learner in communicating God’s truth.