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communicating for change

A few  years ago I read a book called “Communicating for Change” by Andy Stanley that changed my approach to preaching.  Andy Stanley is the lead pastor at North Point Community Church in Atlanta and is the son of Charles Stanley.  Ever since I began preaching I created sermons with three or four points.  Stanley’s book challenges you to craft sermons with one main point.  Here’s his quick explanation of how he structures messages:

“Me–We–God–You–Us. The communication starts with Me– let me tell you something about me. Then We, this is something we all have in common. Then God, this is what God says about it. You, this is what you need to do about it. And We, wouldn’t it be great if we all did it. So it is a relational outline. Start with you. Connect to them. What does God have to say about this issue? What should you do about it? And what should we do about it?”

He offers one last piece of advice that I found very helpful:

“Show up every Sunday morning with a burden that is so heavy that you feel like you will die if you don’t deliver it. And pray for that. Because if you don’t have that, then you just have information. The people will put up with all kinds of a lack of excellence if there is an intensity and a burden that has to be delivered. And many times I have looked at my notes and thought, “Yeah, this might be helpful, but God, what’s the thing I can’t wait until Sunday morning to deliver? And I honestly can’t wait for Sunday morning.”