For some reason, reading Andy Stanley’s book, “Communicating for a Change” was a painful but yet pleasant experience. Maybe it is like running. It is painful as you run (especially if you haven’t ran in ages), but then at the end it feels good knowing that you got a good work out.
Stanley started off his book by sharing a story (it sounded pretty fictional) but nonetheless it was effective as I started to understand the points that he was trying to make throughout the book. The second part of his book was more practical and gave some hands-on advice on learning how to communicate effectively.
The book was definitely geared more towards pastors and their preaching, but I think the principles can be applied to anyone who has to communicate something to an audience. Therefore, this book can be useful to those of you who are in the business world and even in the teaching world.
The part that was painful was when Stanley addressed some of the famous or particular “styles” of preaching (I don’t he is a great fan of the alliterations). He also stripped away all the excuses that pastors might give when it comes to their weaknesses in preaching.
He shares that there are only three possibilities for why a preacher would preach:
2) Teach people the Bible
3) Teach people how to live a life that reflects the values, principles, and truth of the Bible
You can probably tell that he believes in the last one. In fact, I think this is what all preachers want but the reality (how they preach) says that most of us are either #1 or #2.
Stanley says, “Preaching for life change requires far less information and more application. Less explanation and more inspiration.”
The big challenge was – “what is the one thing you want your members to know after your sermon and what do you want them to do with it?”
I couldn’t help but to ask myself this question and I started evaluating the last few sermons that I gave – “did people know the principle and wanted to obey it?”
It is truly challenging for every preacher.
If you want to hear some of Andy Stanley’s messages click here.