I found this on another blog I read ever so often. I post it here because I see (And have seeen) so many use this formula and then call it preaching The Gospel. My guess is that you’ve encountered this style yourself before to. Don’t quit reading till you get to the end…
You’re going to hate me for this. Unless, that is, you’re insecure, and you kinda like manipulating people with the spoken word, in which case this will be the most relevant blog post you’ve ever read. This template will work. Just plug-n-play. You don’t need to be particularly inspired, but people will sure think you are. It works essentially, in construct, as a pop song, with intro, verses, choruses, bridge, and anthemic ending. Here’s the song score:
1. Say something self-deprecating and funny. (Reduces defenses before performance.)
2. Read a scripture, reveal your thesis statement. (Lets people know you’re preaching out of the Bible today. Functions as a song intro, setting the theme.)
3. Tell another funny story. (Puts people at ease, makes them really like you. The first “verse”, musically speaking.)
4. Restate thesis. (Fit it in after a laugh, and people will love you. This is the main theme, the chorus.)
5. Tell another funny story. (Now you’re very entertaining, people are starting to “get it”. This is the second verse.)
6. Restate thesis. (This is hitting home. The second chorus, sweeping into the bridge.)
7. Go to scripture you’re using to support your thesis. (This is the “bridge”, before a pensive, emotive final verse.)
8. Tell a very sad story. (This is the final, heart-tugging, slowed-down verse.)
9. Back to resoundingly-put thesis statement. (This is the anthemic, final chorus, full-out. They’ve been amused, they cried, they got the final statement again. They’re nodding in approval, fighting back some tears.)
10. Say something winsomely funny, not hilarious; restate thesis, slowly. (Denouement, the fade-out.)
Do this, and people will walk out like they had a good meal. Remember that laughing + crying = high suggestibility. They’ll be very impressed with you, and will have had an emotional experience in a religious context, which may be the valuable service they were hoping you’d render.
Is it evil to teach this way? Depends on motivation. You’re playing with power tools, here.
Did Jesus teach this way? No, not that I can tell.
Do I teach this way anymore? Man, I sure try not to.