Here’s To More Effective Sermon Introductions
Establish A Rapport
“The manner is which we relate to our audience in the first moments of a sermon will either close the shutters in our listener’s minds , or it will throw them wide open and make them receptive to all that follows”
I have a friend who is a traveling preacher and she understands the importance of establishing rapport. They don’t know her and she doesn’t know them and here we are together:)
However, don’t underestimate the importance of rapport with an audience you speak to every week. In any given week you will have people who are brand new to your church or those who have only been attending for a short time.
Introduce The Subject
“The main purpose of a good introduction, of course, is to set up the subject and to let the audience know a little where you are taking them.”
Nothing worse than listening to a speaker and not having any idea what, he or she is talking about and having no idea where this talk is going to take you.
“Involuntary listening is what takes place when a member of the audience who is not necessarily disposed to pay attention cannot help himself and finds himself engrossed in what the speaker is saying.”
This is the “secret sauce” of an introduction. Companies do this relentlessly and a speaker needs to work very hard and giving the audience a reason to want to listen.
Set Up And Read The Text
“We cannot expect our people to treasure a book whose words we hardly read. You always reproduce whatever you honor, and if you honor the reading of the Word, then you will reproduce an attention to reading it in the lives of your people.”
I enjoy this part of an introduction. Recently, I was speaking from Acts 17 and Paul speaking in Athens. I began by asking our people if they had ever been kicked out of anything and proceeded to talk about Paul being kicked out of Thessalonica and Berea, then taking the 500 miles trip by boat to Athens. Then I read the passage.
State the Proposition
“The proposition is the demand that the text makes on us if we understand it properly and wish to be more like Christ as a result.”
Proposition, central theme, bottom line, big idea, whatever you want to call it, it needs to be part of your introduction. Your people need to have some idea of where you are going.
Transition Into The Body Of The Sermon
I think I underestimate this part of the introduction. If we don’t make a good transition from the intro to the body of the message is can seem disjointed and we will lose steam in the message.
How about you? How much time do you put into your introductions or they just an afterthought?
Where you are strong in your introductions and where do you need more work?
Why not make your own fill in the blank outline with these points. It will help you round out your outline and keep you on track with your presentation.
This outline was taken from “Preaching With Bold Assurance” by Hershael York and Bert Decker.