How to prepare a talk/sermon

Andy StanleyContinuing with the topics from my Ministry Training LifeGroup…

The next topic was how to prepare a talk/sermon. I walked the group how I prepare when communicating to a group. This can be for a service, seminar, or even sales pitch. I pretty much used my love of the book Communicating for a change by Andy Stanley. An amazing book for those who really want to enhance their speaking and prep skills.



How to win friends and influence people – First 3 principles

I am going through the book How to Win Friends & Influence People with my president. I am amazed at how this book is so old and yet timeless. Dale Carnegie does an incredible job of pinpointing being a leader that is influential as well as followed. We all know that you can not be a leader without followers. So I wanted to share with everyone what these are and hopefully help someone out. These principles are so obvious but I never thought to focus on them so that I can influence more people.

1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.

If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive.

When dealing with people we must realize that we are full of emotion ready to snap or put up a wall because of our prejudices and pride. When we criticize we wound a person’s precious pride, hurt their sense of importance and even cause resentment. When I talk with someone who has just failed me or did something I didn’t like I want them to know what they did wrong. I want to make sure that the next time it is done correctly in my eyes. However, studies have shown that criticizing and condemning do not cause lasting change, in fact the only change occurs is that of resentment.

A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men.

2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.

There is only one way under the high heaven to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it.

Sigmund Freud said everything that you and I want to do stems from two motives: the sex urge and the desire to be great. (I’ll focus on the second one…don’t worry). The deepest urge for every human is the desire to be important. We constantly seek out recognition and have to suppress the urge to get upset when we don’t get credit for our actions. Even Lincoln began a letter saying: “Everybody likes a compliment.” Most people who are dealing with a mental illness are acting out a sense of importance in a world that is not reality. Some people are so hungry for feeling important that they go insane trying to get it.

However, there is a difference between flattery and since appreciation. “Flattery is telling the other person precisely what he/she thinks about themselves.” Flattery is done with a brown nose (sorry, I couldn’t resist, me being brown and all) while appreciation is done as a result of an action. For example: “You look nice today.” It works but seems fake. Let’s try appreciation: “Thanks for getting that project done, it really helped me out and allows me to get more work done.” Do you see the difference?

Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.

3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.

Ask yourself before telling someone to do something: “How can I make this person want to do it?” We are selfish creatures. In everything, we have to see how it benefits us. We have to work on our ability to see the other person’s point of view, see things from their angle and from our own. The term “a win-win situation” comes into my mind with this one. Have you ever written an email asking someone to do something with the outcome only benefiting you? 9/10 times that person will do the task begrudgingly. We have to see how the meeting/situation/task will benefit ourselves before we have any desire to take part in it. Start every conversation, email, letter or talk with the other person’s point of view. How can you help them? How can we make their lives better?

And if salespeople can show us how their services or merchandise will help us solve our problems, they won’t need to sell us. We’ll buy. And customers like to feel that they are buying — not being sold.

More to come later…

Bible Illuminated

Yesterday I had the honor to have a cup of coffee with my good friend Victor. He is a collegiate church planter in Canada but originates from South Africa. While we were talking he mentioned a new way of printing the Bible called the Bible Illuminated. I was intrigued as he mentioned that Dag Soderberg (who is THE advertising guy in Sweden!) created it. His reasoning behind creating the book was that many laws are based upon the Bible, it is the best selling book of all time and it contains much of our history. He wants people to constantly be reading this “holy” book. However, he is not a believer! That’s amazing!

What is the goal of publishing The Book?

There is no religious mission behind The Book. We believe that its success will be driven by the fact that this is not coming from any specific faith, religion or church. We are from many faiths, backgrounds, and beliefs; ultimately we are trying to create something for the many and not just for the few. The goal is to drive an emotional reaction and get people to think, discuss and share. It’s meant to trigger bigger moral questions that will in turn help people to understand the common heritage between all religions through the Bible’s text. We hope people will find the images, design and layout intriguing—intriguing enough to talk about the actual stories in the Bible and what the morals and lessons mean to them. The more you know, the more you can participate in discussions about the world and understand the bigger picture.

Taken from the Amazon product page

I’m pumped about this as a new way of getting people to look at something in a whole new light. What a great way to share Christ. Not through a deceptive “oh look at this really cool magazine” but just a fresh perspective. The book really stands out because it has pictures of Bono, Angelina Jolie, a woman giving birth and some graphic pictures as well. I just ordered mine and it comes with 2! I can’t wait to put one on my table at home to see if visitors will pick it up.

Go to Bible Illuminated to learn more about it, let me know what you think.