Recently, I was asked via Ask EvangelismCoach about ways to increase the number of invitations to church that members give to their network of friends.
Review these posts to get on board with some of the answers
- More church invitations: Friends and Family
- Get More Church Invitations: Prayer
- I want you to come to my church
Today, I want to add number 4.
Understandable and Relevant Sermons
The preached sermon is the focus of our worship gatherings.
If you are the pastor, take a review of your sermons.
a. Are your sermons simple to understand?
In other words, will my friend understand the sermon?
Have you explained theological terms in plain language?
Are you keeping the theology in the textbook, but making theology accessible to people who may not understand?
I think some modern preachers do this well. I listen to podcasts from Andy Stanley, David Jeremiah, Tim Keller. These men explain theological terms and concepts in words that are easy to understand.
In the church we are currently visiting, the preaching pastor does this well as he has been teaching on core doctrines of the church.
In the church we are helping plant, our teaching pastor does this as well as he connects theology with real life.
I’ve also listened to some sermons that felt like doctoral dissertations, full of seminary language, full of theological language, and full of concepts that really don’t make sense outside of Christian circles.
My preaching professor once said something to the effect that sermon preparation is digging in the mine, but the sermon is the cleaned up jewel that is easy to see. I’ve always kept that in mind as I strive to keep my sermons simple to understand.
Jesus taught with simple illustrations that were grounded in real life. His stories were simple, but left the listener with profound stirrings and thoughts.
If your members find that your sermons are simple to understand, you make those sermons accessible to their friends.
You want your church members to say “My friend needs to hear this.”
b. Are your sermons relevant?
In other words, will my friend get something out of the sermon that applies to their life?
Or are your sermons so disconnected from real life, it’s just a black hole of information that serves little purpose?
I’ve been in churches where tight theology is more important than relevance.
I’ve visited churches where sermons were educational exercises in university level thinking about economics.
I’ve heard sermons that were running commentary on current events and arguments over which presidential candidate should be elected.
I’ve heard sermons on spiritual warfare that would freak-out a non-Christian who is exploring faith.
Is your sermon applicable to real life situations that my friend might benefit from?
This is where sermon series on personal finance, marriage, relationships, and other life topics are a good source of a preaching material.
Even for those who favor expository verse by verse preaching need to make the effort to connect their sermon points to real life, either in application or illustration.
If your members find that your preaching connects the word of God to real life situations, you’ll find your church members regularly thinking “My friend needs to hear this too.”
c. Are your sermons accessible?
It used to be that sermons were recorded to cassettes and cds, copied, and then passed around.
In today’s technology enviornment, there is no reason you cannot put your sermons on your church website for easy sharing.
If you are still using cassettes or not recording them at all, consider this video:
Resources for easy sermon capture:
- The one I Use: Sony ICD-UX71 Digital Voice Recorder with 1GB Flash Memory
- Red one: Sony ICD-UX71RED Digital Voice Recorder with 1GB Flash Memory
- Click on similar items and see if there are newer versions available
There are plenty of benefits of recording and putting your sermons as an MP3 at your website.
- Your members can get into the archive at any time and listen via their computer or download it to a device.
- The links to the sermon audio can be emailed and shared in social networks.
- Your members who are out of town can listen to the sermon on-line.
- Your members who have moved away can still hear your sermons online or through their downloads
- Visitors can catch up on prior sermons online in the series.
- Church Visitors can get a sample of your preaching style.
- The Word of God is distributed and God can use it wherever people choose to listen.
- Your archives are on-line for 24 hour global access.
- No more additions to a clumsy tape storage system.
With sermon recording now this easy and inexpensive, perhaps it’s time to start getting the Word back out there with some low cost recorders.
Your Next Steps to Sermons that attract visitors
As you prepare your sermons, think about the unchurched person who will be visiting this Sunday and ask yourself, what might you need to explain better for them.
Find ways to start getting your sermons online and accessible in other ways than just showing up on Sundays.