What I Learned from the Preach Better Sermons Conference

Yesterday The Rocket Company hosted a free online event, the Preach Better Sermons Conference. Over 15,000 people attended this online event and #preachingrocket was even trending on Twitter in the US yesterday. It looks like they’re planning to re-broadcast the material on May 16th as well (sign up here).

Preach Better Sermons Conference

General Comments

  • The conference was all interviews with some excellent preachers and communicators. I liked this format, as you often get more insight through the interview format.
  • Each of the presenters said things worth remembering.
  • There were many common threads and some divergent viewpoints.
  • I appreciated a common emphasis on how desperately preachers need God’s power for any real supernatural work to happen.

Specific Lessons from Each Presenter

Steven Furtick

  • The more I shift my attention from being impressive to being a blessing, the more God can use me and the less nervous I am.

Louie Giglio

  • Freedom comes when you know who you are as a preacher.
  • We are on stage, under the lights, with a crowd, being recorded. It’s a recipe for disaster unless you’re walking with Jesus.

Donald Miller

  • You discipline yourself to study, write and teach because sometimes inspiration actually happens and you better be there in case it does.

Brad Lomenick

  • Great leaders move people from here to there and that often takes inspiration.

Dave Ramsey

  • Humor is essential because it disarms people, especially when it’s a tough or challenging subject.
  • If you rush your prep it will sound like it.

Mark Batterson

  • In real estate, it’s location, location, location. In communication, it’s metaphor, metaphor, metaphor. People can latch on to these controlling metaphors. They create cognitive categories in our minds.
  • Would you rather be a great preacher or a great pray-er?

Darrin Patrick

  • Would your sermon still work if Jesus hadn’t risen from death? If so, that’s a problem.

Jon Acuff

  • If you go first in sharing your struggles, you give everyone else the gift of going second.

Crawford Loritts

  • We make the mistake in thinking that our proficiency means we’re doing something with God’s power.
  • Leader development is more important than leadership development.
  • I’m not up there to impress people, I’m there to introduce them to the One who left the tomb empty.

Pete Wilson

  • When our church reads, they grow. So it’s good to connect series with books.

Nancy Duarte

  • We need to like our audience — take time to obsess about what life is like in their shoes.
  • Most of the Best Picture nominations are also nominated for Best Editing. Same goes with communication.

Andy Stanley

  • What makes preaching to Christians and non-Christians engaging has to do with approach.

Ed Stetzer

  • Be as faithful with the stats you present as the text you present. Most stats are bad but preachers keep using them.

Mark Driscoll

  • If I go to a steakhouse, I’m looking for steak. If I go to a swimming pool, I’m looking for water. If I go to a church, I’m looking for Bible.
  • Does your preaching connect to a guy who drove to church in a truck?
  • There’s no place in society but the church for fatherless men to learn about how to be a man.
  • Do you see yourself as a shepherd of a flock or a speaker to an audience?

Published by

Luke Simmons

I was born and raised in Denver, CO and lived there through high school. Then I moved to Champaign, IL where I attended the University of Illinois and played on the Fighting Illini baseball team. I was married in December, 2001 to Molly, who I met at the U of I. In June of 2002, we moved to Phoenix and have been here ever since. In July of 2006, we welcomed a baby girl, Abby, into our family.

6 thoughts on “What I Learned from the Preach Better Sermons Conference”

  1. Impressive list of both speakers and learnings! It’s nice to be shepherded and taught by a learner!

  2. I SO wish I could listen to this … but I don’t think I can set aside the four hours.

    Would love to hear Loritts unpack this:

    “Leader development is more important than leadership development.”

    1. Loritts fleshes it out quite a bit in his book, Leadership as an Identity. It’s a good book and worth the read.

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