Most studies show people forget most of what they hear within 72 hours. Their retention rate jumps dramatically when other senses are engaged.
When preparing a message, ask how I can show instead of just tell.
In this past year, I hear more comments about two moments in church:
- One involved two boxes. One box had “me” written on it. One had “God” written on it. I simply showed how we often give things to God… then take them back. At the end of the illustration, I suggested that real faith is when we don’t just hand things to God, but give our lives totally to Him. Then I put the “me” box into the “God” box. This very simply visual was life changing for many people. (Click here to see the message.)
- The second was a simple graph I borrowed from Seth Godin’s book The Dip. I used the picture to show how Habakkuk didn’t understand what God was doing, but continued to “embrace” him through the long dip. This visual gave people permission to struggle with God and yet believe. (Click here to see the message.)
Don’t let the simplicity of a visual illustration keep you from using it. Often, the simpler—the better.
Show… don’t just tell.
What have you seen that you’ll never forget? What visual illustration has worked well for you?