categories: personal, preaching
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June 11th, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

God’s Opinion Matters Most

For years after preaching, I always felt vulnerable. When I greet people after a sermon in the lobby, if no one says, “Good sermon, Pastor,” I think I must have bombed.

When I would walk in the door after church and see Amy, I was always hungry for her approval. Did you like it? Did I do a good job?

Although it will always be somewhat important to know if you are connecting with people, I am growing to care less about their opinions.

I am no longer spending as much time asking, “What will bring people to church?” Instead I’m asking, “What will bring glory to God?”

I won’t lie and say that people’s opinions don’t matter to me at all anymore. But I can tell you truthfully, that more than ever, God’s opinion matters most.

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30 comments

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June 10th, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

Trust The Story

Great communicators are generally great storytellers! Jesus may have been the greatest storyteller who ever lived.

My preaching mentor always reminded me, “People remember stories.”

Over the years, I have spent enormous amounts of time searching for stories and developing personal ones.

I will always use and value stories, but I am growing to trust more in The Story than in personal or second-hand stories.

As a preacher, you might put a little less faith in your cute, funny, or even powerful stories and more faith in the power of The Story found through God’s word!

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categories: creativity, technology
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June 9th, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

At the Movies Promo Video

Each summer, we do a series called At the Movies. This series probably has the biggest “invite your friends” factor and every year, we are excited to see more people come to Christ.

Our media design team has been working really hard as they develop some amazing promo videos. Here’s one…If you dig it…you can Digg it here.

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categories: LifeChurch.tv, communication, preaching
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May 15th, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

Communication Technique: The Surprise

The more predictable you become as a communicator, the harder it is to grab and keep people’s attention.

By varying your delivery, style, and rhythms, you can better keep people engaged with God’s word.

Here are a few things we’ve done:

  • Started a message from another part of the auditorium.
  • Pretended to forget the topic and scripture appearing very scattered.
  • Left the building during the sermon and gone to video (Letterman style).
  • Officiated a fake wedding (with a big surprise at the end).
  • Grabbed people from the crowd to use in an illustration.
  • Rappelled onto stage to make a point.
  • Started a message from a coffin.

The communicator must be careful not to become “gimmicky” in the use of surprises. But a well-timed moment can leave a memorable spiritual impression.

What have you done or seen that was effective?

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May 14th, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

Communication Techniques: The Visual

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?

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31 comments

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May 13th, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

Communication Techniques: The Question

Great teachers and communicators know the power of a well-timed question.

Asking a direct question and giving your audience time to answer can open the door for a life changing moment.

You might invite the crowd to answer the question in their mind, write their answer on paper, or better yet, discuss their answer with three people around them.

  • When preaching on “Doubting Thomas, you might ask, “In your most honest moment, what is your biggest spiritual doubt? Be specific.”
  • When preaching on worry, you might ask, “What is the #1 thing you are still unwilling to trust to God?”
  • When you are preaching on evangelism, you might ask, “Who are the three people you’d most like to see meet Christ?”
  • When teaching on faith, you might ask, “In what area of your life do you live as if God doesn’t exist?”

By helping people acknowledge a specific response to a question, you might open them to hear a specific word on the subject from God.

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May 12th, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

Communication Techniques: The Pause

This week, we’ll talk about several underused communication techniques. We’ll start with:

The Pause

pause.jpgWhen preaching, occasionally you’ll realize you just delivered a very impactful thought. Most communicators continue with their message.

I suggest when you realize a bullet just hit the target… Pause… Be quiet… Be still… Wait… Wait some more… And give the Holy Spirit time to seal the thought in the minds of the listeners.

The more powerful the moment, the longer the pause.

Don’t be afraid of an awkwardly long pause. Let it linger. Allow people to become somewhat restless.

Stop speaking long enough to allow God to finish what you started.

Pause.

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27 comments

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