Preaching That Connects is the book for all who seek to hone their craft to communicate the truth of the gospel effectively. The authors acknowledge the fact that each person is different and everyone has different techniques and approach in preaching the word of God.
Here are some of the main points that I gathered from each chapter of this book:
Love Yourself as Hearers. Above all, the preachers should consider first the audience or “hearers” when preparing a sermon. As stated in this book, “we need to learn how to introduce, develop, and conclude our subjects in a way that interests hearers” (Galli and Larson, 1994, p. 16). In other words, we need to learn how to modify our words, sentences, paragraphs, stories and illustrations to deliver the message and impact the lives of our audience.
How to Be More Creative. There are many techniques that can be used to be creative in preparing a sermon. Some of them are the following: Freewheeling (write down everything that comes to your mind about your subject), Clustering (or mind mapping, write a circle in the middle and connect it to different ideas that you can think), Heuristic (come up with a list of questions about your subject), and Outlining (make an outline by putting sub-title to your subject) (Galli and Larson, 1994).
Introductions That Get Listeners. According to Galli and Carson (1994), “Opening sentence aims at the listener's head; the development must aim at the heart” (p. 36-37). A good introduction engages the listener and unveils the subject. If we fail to engage our audience at the beginning, we will lose them throughout the sermon. So what engages people? We should talk about subject that people care about and relevant to their lives. So it is important when choosing a topic to ask the question, will my listener care about this?
Structuring Your Sermon for Maximum Effect. Sermon needs an angle and a purpose. Galli and Carson (1994) mentioned that “the angle says what the sermon is about while the purpose says what the sermon should do” (p. 49). You also need a clear, logical outline. You need this to make the sermon more structured and organized.
When You Can’t Find an Illustration. Here are ways we can use when doing an illustration: True stories, fictional stories, generic experiences, images, quotes and facts (Galli and Carson 1994). And there are endless list of sources we can use such as scripture, magazines, encyclopedia, etc. Personally, I have proven that the best illustration that we can use in our sermon is our personal experiences. We all have unique experiences. God allows and plans different events in our lives to mold us into the most effective Christian we can be. Even the most painful experiences that we had, God will use it to minister to others.
Good Illustrations and Great Ones. Illustrations should be specific rather than general. According to this book, “General words stir as much excitement as generic products. Specifics explode because listeners can better...