Andy Stanley is my Pastor. For the past 10 years, I have been listening to his sermons on a regular basis. He has not only shaped my spiritual growth and transformation, but he has shaped how I Teach / Preach / Communicate more than any other person. I’ve learned to listen to Andy with two ears – One is listening for Transformational Truth from God…the Other is listening to how Andy crafts and communicates that truth. If you find yourself doing any level of Teaching / Preaching / Communicating / Etc. you should do yourself the favor of watching / listening / learning from Andy. In fact, on June 1, you can actually hear Andy at Soul City Church (more details below).
I have learned SO MUCH about Communication from Andy over the years, here are just Three Things…
1) Make No Assumptions / Have High Expectations
Andy does an amazing job of leveling the playing field of his messages by making NO ASSUMPTIONS about what those listening know or don’t know, believe or don’t believe. He doesn’t just assume that because they’re in your church that they believe in God or the teachings of the Bible. In fact, Andy will often name that tension / reality at the start of his messages. It’s incredibly disarming. But this doesn’t mean that Andy lets them off the hook. He regularly gives practical / spiritual responses at the end of his messages in which he invites EVERYONE to participate in. In other words, “You may not believe this yet, but would you be willing to try it for a week? Just see what happens.” This is not only disarming, it is Empowering and leaves folks who walked in in completely different places walking out in the same direction.
2) Keep It Simple, Keep It Sticky
Andy was one of the first communicators I heard to only have ONE POINT. I grew up hearing speeches and sermons with multiple points and multiple passages or principles that applied to each of those points. Consequently, I remember none of them. I do however remember many of Andy’s “Bottom Lines.” His Simple, Sticky Statements that sum up the whole point of the passage or message. Here are a few of Andy’s Stick Statements that have stayed with me over the years…
- “Direction, not intention determines your destination.”
- “We don’t drift in good directions. We discipline and prioritize ourselves there.”
- “Purity paves the way to intimacy”
- “When you see as God sees, you will do as God says”
- “Everybody lives forever somewhere”
This has been a Game Changer to how I teach, and I rarely craft a sermon without 1 or 2 sticky statements. When crafting my own Sticky Statements, I try and lean into my love of Rap to craft phrases the capitalize on Rhyme, Alliteration, and Flow. People may (and probably will) forget everything I say, but if they remember this ONE THING, they have the heart of the message / passage inside them potentially for a lifetime.
3) Say More By Saying Less
Andy is not the first communicator to teach through a Teaching Series. But he is one of the few that I have seen who truly trusts the power and purpose of a Teaching Series. By intentionally structuring a 4-6 week Teaching Series you don’t feel the pressure to “Say It All” in one weekend. You can focus on the parts of the Passage or Series Theme that deserve attention while trusting that you’ll get to the rest next weekend or the weekend after…or the next time you teach a series like this a year from now. There’s enough Transformational Truth in the Bible to last for a lifetime of preaching. Trust that. By trying to say it all, or too much, you run the risk of NONE of it sticking or going deep. Craft a GREAT SERIES first, and you’ll be able to craft a GREAT MESSAGE within it.
Those are just a few of the things I’ve learned from Andy Stanley about Teaching / Preaching / Communicating.
WHAT ARE YOU LEARNING ABOUT TEACHING / PREACHING / COMMUNICATING THESE DAYS?
I’d love to hear from YOU!