What's in this session?

  • Step #1: Stories (1:41)
  • Step #2: Stats (5:02)
  • Step #3: Steps (6:15)

Show notes and resources

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The Transcript

Alex Mills: Well, hey there, and welcome to Pro Church Daily, the show where in 10 minutes or less, you’re going to get your daily dose of tips and tactics to help your church share the message of Jesus, where we try and navigate the biggest communication shift we’ve seen in the last 500 years. I’m your host, Alex Mills, joined as always by the boss man, it’s Brady Shearer. Today, we’re talking about how to preach memorable sermons.
Brady Shearer: Got three tips for you today, Pro Church Daily listener or viewer, on how to preach more memorable sermons. These are also going to be helpful when it comes to writing email blasts, social media posts, curating your hosting techniques and your deliverability of announcements. Really, it’s universal communication strategies and tactics. We’ve got three tips for you. I call it the Three S Speaking Framework and I use it for every episode for Pro Church Daily. I use it for every blog post I write, every single social media post that I compose. These three S’s have helped me greatly when it comes to communicating better and helping capture more attention for the people that I’m communicating to in my audience.
Alex Mills: I remember the first time that you articulated this to me, that you shared these three steps and I realized … Looking back, I realized, Oh yeah, this is generally what I’ve been trying to accomplish with public speaking or what have you but now that I have these three action steps, I can use it as like a check list, you know, like a strategy, like … Oh, have I done this, have I done this and have I done this. And it’s really transformed, often the way I teach at church, it’s been super helpful to me and so I’m sure it will be helpful to all of our listeners.
Brady Shearer: Awesome. The Three S Framework. Let’s start with S number one, stories. Story telling is the most powerful form of human communication because it forces our brains to focus and pay attention. And when it comes to delivering your sermon, when it comes to delivering your message in whatever medium that may come through, if you don’t have your audience’s attention, it doesn’t really matter what you’re saying because that attention is the first necessary step to delivering your message. And I was just listening to a podcast that I liked recently and it was a marketing expert, Neil Patel, and he was talking about blog posts that he’s written … I’m telling you a story right now and you’re already paying more attention … You see what I did there? Nice.
Brady Shearer: So, I was listening to this podcast, Neil Patel, he did this analysis with these people on his team, looking at all the blog posts that he published and he separated them by blog posts where he was telling personal stories versus blog posts where he was just talking about steps and strategies and all that stuff and what he found was the ones where he was telling personal stories earned 12 times more comments than the ones where he was just delivering steps and tactics. Even though the ones that were step-based and tactic-based and strategic-based, they had tons of value but they didn’t emotionally resonate as much and they didn’t capture as much attention as the ones where he told personal stories. And if you think about Pro Church Daily, a lot of the times I’ll start off an episode saying, I got a DM from … or, I had a conversation with a person in Pro Church nation … and the reason I do that is to use that as a spring board to get into the tips and tactics which I know if you implement them, are going to be hugely helpful but I gotta get your attention and buy-in first, I’ve got to get you emotionally invested and story is the best way to do that.
Brady Shearer: There’s this thing in sermons where … pastors love illustrations, they love illustrations, I don’t get it. I don’t understand it. You can look for sermon illustrations, the keyword gets outrageous search volume. Every single month there are dozens of websites that are dedicated to curating copious amounts of sermon illustrations and every time I see that it drives bonkers because I’m like you are substituting the most powerful form of human communication for like a junkie riddle that isn’t even true. Tell a real story, stop using illustrations.
Alex Mills: Yeah, and we see this in the life and ministry of Jesus. We see this all over the place. He was traveling all the time and talking to different people, groups and from different backgrounds, different occupations, different races, religions, all that stuff and the entry point always was a story and often the truth of what he talking about which is our gospel, was like laced within this story. Sometimes he would just tell a story because he knew, as the creator of everything, that this is how I can connect this message, my gospel of truth, this is how I can connect with people who don’t agree with me and who differ from me in race and religion and social status and all these things. He knew that and story telling is as old as time and will be as old as time. It’s not going anywhere any time soon because we know, like you said, it is the single form of communication that forces your listener to pay attention and so that’s such a great place to start.
Brady Shearer: That is the first S in The Three S Speaking Framework. S number two is stats. Statistics, data points, research will lend credibility, remove doubt and shatter objections when it comes to the audience that’s listening to you. Now, one side point, as I want to make very clear, if you’re going to use statistics and data points, make sure to cite your research, pastors. We do that with Pro Church Daily. I won’t read out the source every single time because we have show notes where we’ll have the data that’s linked and sourced and cited there. You do not have the same luxury as a speaker so what you don’t want to do is be like, I heard this stat some time … If you say, I heard this stat sometime, I’m going to walk up on stage and I’m going to throw you off of it because that has been so abused to use this powerful communication strategy and just completely bastardize it because you’re just throwing something out in the air and people are going to take it as truth and gospel when it’s not true so cite your research and make sure the research that you’re using, as much as you can, is credible research.
Brady Shearer: If the first step in this Three S Framework is stories, and that’s all about making something personal, the stats part is moving from personal to provable. And then the third S is moving from provable to practical and that is steps. The third S in the Three S Framework is steps. Take something complex, take something gargantuan, colossal, this huge idea that you’re trying to communicate in your message and then reduce it to bite sized action steps so that someone is already bought in with the story, it’s personal. They’re emotionally invested and they believe you because it’s provable based on research and data and statistics and whatever type of provable evidence that you want to use. Now make it practical, where they feel like this is accessible to me. It’s not just an idea that works in the world, it works in my world and steps can make that possible. You take something that seems so huge and you reduce it into something that feels possible for your congregation.
Alex Mills: You know, we talk about it often, you don’t want your church full of passive spectators. They’re just showing up on a Sunday to listen to what you have to say, walk out the door, come back next week, do it all over again. You want … You know that what you’re saying as a pastor or a teacher or a leader carries so much weight, has so much existential truth behind it and can truly transform somebody’s life and so you don’t just want to be speaking to these passive spectators, have it go in one ear, out the other and see you again next week. You want active participants who are ready and willing to take a next step so that you can see that personal growth, that spiritual growth in their own life but they can’t take a step if you don’t give it to them. And so that third S, that next step is imperative. Once you’ve connected with them on a level by telling a story and then you’ve said, yeah, the truth of this story is provable by using stats. You can say now let’s put this into action, let’s take a next step, let’s act on this and become better people. Let’s look more like Jesus tomorrow than we do today.
Brady Shearer: The Three S Speaking Framework.
Brady Shearer: S number one … Stories, make it personal. S number two … Stats, move it from personal to provable. And S number three … steps, move it from provable to practical and once you’ve made and preached these memorable sermons you’re going to want to share them with the world and that’s what the Essential Sermon Engine Bundle is for. It’s the featured resource for this episode of Pro Church Daily. It’s 100% free and in it is a series of five different resources. Resources to help you get your sermons downloaded more, to help you understand podcasting, to help you understand the sermon engine and to help you build your own sermon engine. We’ve even got quotable Photoshop templates for you to take your sermon take it into bite sized quotes, share it with the world on social media. It’s 100% free, it’s linked in the description of this YouTube show and also in the podcast show notes.
Brady Shearer: And that’ll do it for this episode of Pro Church Daily. We’ll see you next time.

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