I’m a huge fan of the 1-point message that Andy Stanley has made famous. It has totally changed the way that I communicate. I believe that I am a better teacher because of it. I came from the traditional homiletical style that I learned in Bible College. So when we started our church 4 1/2 years ago, I would walk up to the pulpit (I used one back then), and take out my notes that were in formal Roman numeral style and alliterate my points and sub-points. I have talked with many communicators about this and I was converted to the style of teaching 1 point for several reasons:
#1 – No one talks in alliteration – When was the last time you recounted a trip using 3 “P” letter words? We went to #1 – The Park/ #2 – The Pizza Place/ #3 – The Plane. Instead, be conversational in your communicating. The best communicators are people who you feel are just talking to you, instead of explaining their grocery list.
#2 – People don’t remember much – It’s Sunday evening and everything I taught this morning is already slipping away…and I wrote the message! Imagine the person who was trying to stay awake listening to me! I believe people will remember more about 1 point explained thoroughly, than tidbits about 3 points.
#3 – Wasted Time – You’ve got 40 minutes to teach life-changing truth. But we are stacking the cards against us if we are going to have 5 points that we need to introduce and transition from. Especially if the alliterated word doesn’t totally fit (You’re like me, admit it – You will make an “R” letter word fit if you need to), you have to explain how it makes total sense in light of the subject.
#4 – Bottom line the message – Sting once said that a song isn’t really a song if you can’t play it with just an acoustic guitar. I believe the same principle applies to communicating. Can I boil down the message to 1 phrase that adequately describes the text and subject matter I am teaching? People will not remember your whole message. They’ll remember the story about your dog and the 1 line that you keep repeating over and over (i.e. “I have a dream” – Dr. King)
#5 – A.C.E. the acronyms (Acronyms Confuse Everyone) – What the obsession with acronyms is, I will never know. I have drawn a line in the sand that I hate them. They fall in the same category as canned preacher jokes (That’s another blog in itself). Most of the time we have a word for 4 out of 5 letters, but we cram the last one in and end up spending the most time on that one because we had to explain how it really does make sense.
So there you have it. A 5-point post about how you should have a 1-point message. Very logical…