My pastor, Brian Boisen, is a good communicator, and recently I’ve noticed that he has become even better at one of the three components that make up a good sermon…the introduction. Brian has been having some great introductions. I’ve actually began to look forward to them.
If you have studied homiletics then this might be old news to you, but still, stay with me, there’s always a place for a reminder.
We’ve all been taught that a good sermon has an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. I’m a preaching coach so I think a lot about these things. I’ve been speaking since I was a new Christian at the age of 16. That’s a lot of speaking. Let me share with you some thoughts I have about sermon introductions.
- Wait to develop your introduction until after you’ve completed the body of your sermon. Once you have a solid body you will be in a better place to decide on the most fitting introduction. One reason why some sermons do not relate to the introduction (“Hey, I thought he said he was going to speak on this, but instead he’s speaking about that.”) is because the pastor began with crafting the introduction first.
- Your introduction should accomplish three things: get my attention, make me want to listen to you, and tell me where we’ll be going. People can tune out pretty fast. We don’t have much time to capture them. A good sermon introduction does just that.
- Introductions are short but sweet. Depending on how long your sermons usually are should help you decide how long your introductions should be. For example, if you preach 15 to 20 minutes then your introduction should be about three minutes long. If you preach close to 30 minutes then your introduction can be up to five minutes. I just say this because some sermons I listen to take 10 minutes or longer before the speaker actually gets into the body of their sermon. You don’t have much time to get to the meat so offer an appetizer and then serve the main course.
They say that visitors to your church will decide within seven minutes after getting out of their car whether or not they will be coming back. It’s similar to sermons. You’ve got a few minutes to get their attention and make them want to listen to you. Work at developing a great introduction.
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