In January, I had the privilege of spending the day with the team from The Rocket Company. They exist to provide practical how-to training for pastors and church leaders. This spring they are out doing themselves (again!) with a free online Preaching Conference on May 1st from 12pm-4pm (EDT). They’ve pulled in some of the best communicators from around the country who are going to talk with pastors about everything they’ve learned about preaching over the years. (At this point the list of communicators includes: Andy Stanley, Steven Furtick, Louie Giglio, Crawford Loritts, Nancy Duarte, Ed Stetzer, Dave Ramsey, Jon Acuff, Brad Lomenick and Mark Driscoll.) I’d strongly recommend you taking the time to invest in your teaching by attending this conference … did I tell you it’s free?
This conference got me thinking about what I’ve learned from working closely with some pretty amazing communicators. Here is what I’ve seen first hand as these Pastors attempt to communicate the timeless message of Jesus in a timely manner:
- Doesn’t just happen. // Preaching is a lot of work. It takes hours and hours of preparation. Great communicators have a system for preparing and presenting. [Dave Ramsey is going to talk about his system for developing messages at the May 1st conference.]
- Responsive to the community. // I’ve found that these communicators are actively listening to the community around them and attempting to understand what the issues of the day are to apply the message of Jesus to.
- More than just words. // Some of the most memorable messages over the years have had interesting visual elements to them to drive home the core point. But they don’t just use a video clip or prop routinely but rather as a tool to drive home to the core message.
- It’s personal. // Good messages come out of the life of the communicator. The stories are crafted and positioned in such a way as to both draw us in and drive home a point. [The preaching conference is going to talk about leveraging stories for all they are worth!]
- Countercultural. // I think one of the assumptions from the outside of growing churches that that the teaching must just be a repackaging of Oprah or some other cultural influence. One of the realities I’ve noticed is that great teaching pushes against the dominant culture and moves us closer to Jesus.
- Students of the Craft // Each of the communicators I’ve had the privileged of serving with are constantly looking for ways to improve their art form. They listen to other communicators and study their approach. They observe great communication around them and find ways to incorporate those learnings into their teaching. [Preach Better Sermons would be a great way to accelerate your learning! And it’s free.]