J. C. Penney once said, “Give me a stock clerk with a goal, and I will give you a man who will make history. Give me a man without a goal and I will give you a stock clerk”. If our God honoring goals can empower us to change the history of peoples lives, then the following effort we are going to discuss to set these goals will be worth the work. Continue Reading…
Archives For Charles Stanley
This is what Andy Stanley calls “a one point message” in his book Communicating for a Change. If a sermon has multiple points, Stanley says, this is like trying to drink from a fire hydrant: “You’ll drown yourself before you ever manage to swallow.” Stanley makes another accusation that in my opinion does not have to be true: “If life change is your goal, point by point preaching is not the most effective approach.” Wow! Does mean that all the preachers in the past and in the present who preach with points have been or are ineffective in maturing the saints? What about points preachers like Adrian Rogers, John Piper, John MacArthur, etc.
When Stanley says one point message, he means “every message should have one central idea, application, insight, or principle.” One problem, Stanley is trying to solve, is too much information in sermons unloaded on our listeners. “One of my favorite communicators told me that on several occasions his wife has turned to him after a message and said, ‘I really enjoyed the sermons.'”
There are three steps in developing a one point message.
1. Dig until you find it.
What Stanley calls a one point message, is called propositional preaching by others. The two, however, are not exactly the same. The one point in a propositional sermon is the proposition or the sermon reduced to a sentence. The difference is finding how many developmental truths are in the text about the one proposition. Each developmental truth (point) is then explained, argued theologically, illustrated, and applied. But still there is just one point or proposition.
2. Build everything around it (the one point).
A helpful contribution here is this question every preacher needs to ask himself: “Does this really facilitate the journey or is this just something that will get a laugh or fill time?” If it is not pertinent to the main point or text, leave it on the cutting room floor.
3. Make it stick.
“Take time to reduce your one point to one sticky statement.”
Stanley says the one point of the sermon is what his dad, Charles Stanley, calls the preacher’s “burden.” “You can tell when a communicator is carrying a burden versus when he is simply dispensing information.” Stanley says, “At some point in the preparation process, you must stop and ask yourself, ‘What is the one thing I must communicate? What is it that people have to know?'”
So, the one proposition from the text must become the burden of the preacher. “The sermons that have put you to sleep were delivered by men with information but no burden. A burden brings passion to preaching.”
Charles Stanley was alone. His marriage was ending. Pastors were publicly calling for him to step down. People within his church were trying to get rid of him.
His enemies were coming after him, and his son wasn’t stepping in front of his father to meet the blows. Continue Reading…
I just read John Blake’s story of the incredible pain the Stanley family has suffered. Every pastor and church member needs to read this unusual glimpse into the lives of two pastors:
Andy Stanley walked into his pastor’s office, filled with dread.
The minister sat in a massive chair behind an enormous desk. He spread his arms across the desk as if he were bracing for battle. His secretary scurried out of the office when she saw Andy coming. Continue Reading…