Another five tweaks to add to the 35 we’ve covered so far:
36. Preach a whole book in one. If you have never done this before, maybe it is time to try. Instead of preaching slice by slice through a book, give people the whole thing in one. Obviously Philemon is fairly easy, but why not try Mark or Romans, or even a major Prophet? Don’t just preach the study Bible introductory outline, that is dull. Grasp the book for yourself and offer it as a coherent and relevant whole.
37. Preach a tiny text in context. This is the opposite extreme. Grab hold of a tiny text and pull on it to see the whole of its context come into play. Perhaps “God so loved” or “I am the way” or “Before Abraham was born, I am” or something more unfamiliar. People may be able to walk away with a little truth drilled deep into their souls, with all the meaning and significance it actually has in its context.
38. Up the eye contact. Whatever you can do to increase eye contact, do it. Less notes. No notes. Overcome the habit of looking over people, or picking two points and “watching tennis” as you preach. Make meaningful eye contact for several seconds before moving on. Don’t flit and don’t stare, but do make the kind of connection that friendly relationship is made of.
39. Prepare your people for a future evangelistic message. If you are preaching an especially evangelistic message in the coming weeks, don’t just tell folks to bring people. Instead, tell them what you will be doing, how it will come across, how you will conclude. Allow your people to make an informed decision over whether or not to risk their relationship by bringing their friend to that particular event.
40. Evaluate your visuals. What people see communicates massively. Evaluate your expressions, your gestures, your posture, your attire. Also give some thought to your powerpoint – is it clear, is it helpful, is it necessary, is it clip-arty, is it grainy, is it coherent, is it exhaustive, is it distracting, is it turning the message into an information download? Good visuals make a huge difference, both you and your projected presentation. Never offer any visual without thinking it through first.