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March 24, 2016

Knocking it Out of the Park: How to Prepare and Deliver “Home Run” Sermons

By Daniel Im

Every month, Plus Members get video enhanced training from Ministry Grid on topics like leadership, ministry systems, residencies, multiplication, church planting, and multisite. This month, Mike Minter, Teaching Pastor at Reston Bible Church in Dulles, VA., provides over 60 minutes of helpful tips on sermon preparation and delivery.

*Plus Members can watch this entire 60 minute long Video Training by logging in and clicking here. 

Knocking it Out of the Park: How to Prepare and Deliver “Home Run” Sermons

If you didn’t know, Opening Day for baseball season is quickly approaching. For many, one of the most exciting aspects of a baseball game is witnessing a home run. How do I know this? Well in 2009, The New York Mets opened a brand new stadium with the field dimensions being quite large. The large dimensions made it very difficult to hit homes runs, which led the Mets to reconfigure the outfield in an effort to bring back more of the excitement of home runs.

While witnessing a home run arouses great excitement, have you ever hit a home run? If so, you’ve felt the rush of adrenaline as you made contact with the ball, dropped your bat, started running towards first, and caught a glimpse of the ball sailing over the outfield fence. At that moment the sprint became a trot. And as you rounded the bases, you heard the crowd, coaches, and teammates cheering, clapping, and celebrating your accomplishment. Upon returning to the dugout, you exhaled a sigh of relief as you realized that you had accomplished what every batter seeks to do when they step up to the plate—score!

I share the home run baseball concept with you because I’ve had, over the years, people come up and tell me after delivering a sermon, “Daniel, that was a home run; you knocked it out of the park! Great message!” While it’s a great feeling when that kind of encouragement comes your way, what does it mean that you hit a home run, or that you knocked it out of the park? Hopefully, it means they are leaving different as a result of having listened to the preaching of the word.

What if every sermon we preached was a home run? Now, I’m not asking this for our glory, but God’s glory and others’ good as we seek to bring Christ glory through the preaching of His word and allow the Spirit to bring transformation to those who sit under the preaching of His word.

Mike Minter, Teaching Pastor at Reston Bible Church in Dulles, VA., offers four helpful tips on how preachers and teachers of the word can knock every sermon out of the park.

1. Meditation

Meditation, from Mike’s perspective, is seeking the richness of God’s word by being still as you contemplate the greater possibilities of application without violating the intended meaning of the text.

Rather than racing to a commentary to begin reading about a particular passage, Mike encourages preachers to be still and spend time with God reflecting on the passage. By meditating, teachers will find it easier to memorize the passage, gain greater insight, speak with greater authority, increase their ability to hear from God, and unearth what is implied in the text.

In thinking about the importance of mediation, Mike says, “While our intellect, crushes the kernel of Scripture, our meditation takes those kernels and makes bread out of it.” According to Mike, 90–95% of what he shares with the congregation is birthed through meditation.

In short, knocking a sermon out of the park begins with getting alone with the passage and letting the God of the passage speak to your heart.

2. Observation

Mike defines observation as simply looking at life through the lens of Scripture. In other words, the Scriptures are like glasses that increase one’s ability to see and understand their environment. The Scriptures help humanity make sense out of life.

For instance, Mike talks about Proverbs 27:20, which states, “…and never satisfied are the eyes of man.” In this passage, the Bible expresses that man is never satisfied, that man is always looking for something to fully satisfy their life. In the observation stage, teachers look at the larger cultural environment to see how this principle and truth is at work. So, for the above truth, preachers would look at the culture to see how people are never satisfied—how they constantly try and fill their life with money, power, positions, materials, relationships, and health in an attempt to quench their insatiable and never fully satisfied desires.

If preachers are going to knock a sermon out of the park, they will need to understand how the truth and principles of Scripture bring clarity and understanding to real life. Failing to relate the truth of Scripture to the reality and relevancy of life makes sermons more mechanical rather than transformational.

To listen to the full 60 minutes of video content, including Mike’s final two points of how preachers and teachers can knock every sermon out of the park, click here.

This video is part of Plus Membership, so to get full access to it, and much more, I encourage you to become a Plus Member. Click here to see all the benefits of becoming a Plus Member.

Tweetables:

  • Knocking a sermon out of the park begins w/meditation—getting alone with the passage & letting the God of the passage speak to your heart.
  • “While our intellect, crushes the kernel of Scripture, our meditation takes those kernels and makes bread out of it.” @PastorMinter
  • Observation is simply looking at life through the lens of Scripture. @PastorMinter
  • Knocking a sermon out of the park requires an understanding of how the truth Scripture brings clarity & understanding to real life.
  • Failing to relate the truth of Scripture to the reality & relevancy of life makes sermons more mechanical rather than transformational.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Im

Daniel Im (@danielsangi) is the Founder of NewChurches.com and the Director of Church Multiplication for LifeWay Christian Resources. He is a Teaching Pastor at The Fellowship, a multisite church in Nashville. He is the author of No Silver Bullets: Five Small Shifts that will Transform Your Ministry, and co-author of Planting Missional Churches: Your Guide to Starting Churches that Multiply (2nd ed) with Ed Stetzer. He also co-hosts the New Churches Q&A Podcast, the 5 Leadership Questions Podcast, and a brand new podcast with his wife on marriage and parenting called the IMbetween Podcast. He has an M.A. in Global Leadership and has served and pastored in church plants and multisite churches ranging from 100 people to 50,000 people in Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Korea, Edmonton, and Nashville. Visit Danielim.com to learn more.

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