I bought Andy Stanley’s Communicating for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communicationa few years ago. I started reading it but got sidetracked (by what I don’t remember) and never finished it.
I’m not sure exactly what prompted me to pick this book up again. It probably has something to do with the fact that I’ve been preaching for the past three weeks at Hope Angeles. Maybe it’s because I really enjoyed reading The Principle of the Path a couple of months ago (I especially enjoyed this author’s sense of humor). Anyway, I’m glad I gave it a second look.
I believe the Holy Spirit is the One who is ultimately for changing lives. But I also regularly ask myself something like this: “Am I communicating biblical truths in the most effective way possible for this particular audience?” Stanley’s book has helped me to wrestle with this question and take a fresh look at preaching.
Here’s an example (one of the central ideas of the book): Stanley encourages preachers to stick with one point an build the entire message around it. Traditional sermons, he argues, usually have too many points and too much information.
I believe he’s onto something here. Speaking to students has taught me to keep things simple and memorable. Example: I often talk to young people about the Two Commandments of Relationships. I believe this message “sticks” with them long after they’ve left the worship gathering and gone home.
I’d recommend this book for preachers who want to improve their communication skills. You may not agree with everything Stanley has to say about preaching, but I believe you’ll find helpful insights.