In terms of seeing radical life changes in individuals, nothing can take the place of Spirit-anointed preaching. The message is still the most important element of a worship service for the unchurched.
Saddleback’s growth — in spite of hot gymnasiums, cold tents, and crowded parking — has shown that people will put up with a lot of inconveniences and limitations if the messages are genuinely meeting their needs.
Here are a few tips I tend to share with pastors when they ask about preaching:
Provide an outline with the Scriptures written out.
I provide a printed outline of the message with all the Bible verses that will be used — and the verses are fully written out. There are a number of reasons that I do this:
- Unchurched people may not own Bibles.
- It relieves embarrassment in finding texts.
- You can cover more material in less time. I once counted the number of times a well-known pastor said, “Now turn to this” in his message, and I timed how long he took. Seven minutes of his message was spent just turning pages!
- You can have everyone read a verse aloud together because everyone has the same…