In the last article we looked at how to preach Bible stories by using running narrative. Let’s see another tip that can transform your delivery:
2. Transparency Leads to Trust
Once your people trust you, it is amazing how their hearts become open to the truths you are preaching. I go to some large churches, and listen to the preacher, and the preaching is okay. It isn’t anything spectacular, but you can tell that it is effective because the people love their preacher and trust him. The preacher is transparent with them.
You can get a lot of truths in somebody’s heart when they trust you. When I go somewhere to speak I spend a lot of time getting to know the people in order to build their trust.
One of the best ways to be transparent is to down yourself—people just love it when you make fun of yourself. That transparency of “man did I blow it” is great. People love that kind of honesty.
When I preach at camps, usually on Monday night, I tell a story about a banana eating contest that we had in our youth group when I was a youth pastor. The story’s very funny, but in that story, I down myself because I really blew it with this activity.
I describe the struggles of a young person in that story, and I get to define my values of where I’m headed for the week. I do it all in one story. They laugh with it, but I look terrible in the story. Immediately when they leave, they are connected with me, and I can do so much more with them the rest of the week. That is because there is transparency there.
I think that being transparent with your people is important in helping them understand that you have the same struggles they do. Down yourself, define your values, and describe your struggles with genuine openness.