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You’ve studied and prayed and now you’re ready to deliver a powerful sermon to your congregation. You don’t, however, want the sermon to take thirty minutes of everyone’s Sunday morning and then be forgotten. Here are some ways you can build momentum around your sermon or series before you preach, during your service, and after the worship center has emptied.
Before You Preach
Promote via Social Media – Use your personal and church Facebook and Twitter accounts to talk about your message before it’s preached. Let your followers know what you’re planning to preach about, and perhaps it will entice them to make sure they don’t make other plans that morning.
Collaborate with Your Team – God has given you the gift of preaching, but he’s given many other gifts to other folks on your staff or volunteer leadership team. Share your message with them and look for ways that you can combine your gifts to drive your message home even further.
When You Preach
Illustrate Your Message – As a preacher, you’ve probably mastered the art of weaving a beautiful story into your sermon, offering your listeners multiple places to identify and plug into the narrative, but what are you doing for people who are visual learners? A short, but powerful mini-movie can drive your message home for people who may not learn as well by merely listening. You can also use image-rich backgrounds to add depth to your sermon slides.
Give a Specific Challenge – When you get up to deliver a message on Sunday Morning, it’s most likely the result of countless hours of preparation. You’ve spent a good portion of your week processing the material. Many times your message has become a part of you. Your church, however, is hearing this for the first time. Don’t take for granted that they’ll know how to respond to the text. Challenge them in specific ways.
After You Preach
Repeat the Challenge – When your congregation leaves their pews on Sunday, they re-enter a world of chaos. There are school projects to wrap up, Monday meetings to prepare for, home repairs to do, etc. Asking them to stay focused on the sermon you just poured your week into is difficult. So make sure that you’re using your church’s website, social media channels, small groups, and more to repeat the challenge over the course of the next week.
We don’t preach to simply hear the sound of our own voice. We preach because we’ve been called by God to listen to his voice, and proclaim his message, so that lives will be changed. But don’t assume your job is done when you’ve finished your manuscript. Bring your message to life by building momentum with an engaged congregation.