Andy Stanley spoke during a main session at the Orange Conference. Here are some highlights of his message on how to to effectively communicate to students.

 Your approach determines people’s response.

  • We must adapt our approaches to connect with our target audiences.
  • How do you win as many people as possible? You change your approach.
  • The goal isn’t to be right or to make a point. The goal is to win those under the law.
  • There is a goal and an approach, when you prioritize the approach over the goal, you’re out of business.
  • Adjust your approach depending on your audience.

Changing your approach:

  • You have inherited an approach that assumes consensus among biblical authority.
  • Engaging people with the text has more to do with your approach than the scripture.
  • We live in a world that does not view the scriptures and Bible the same way you do.
  • A Bible “story” is a terrible word.  It’s better than a story.  We think it actually happened.  It’s not a story.  It’s history.
  • Nobody reads anything because it’s inspired.  You read things because you want to read it and discover it’s true.
  • Give people permission not to believe or obey the scriptures. When you give the permission not to believe or obey, they are more likely to believe or obey.
  • When you give non-Christians an out, they begin to lean in.
  • We’ve got to teach in a way that always ties things back to Jesus.
  • Our approach that we’ve used has set our children up for disaster in college.
  • Don’t refer to the Bible as a book.  The Bible’s not a book.  It’s way better than a book.
  • Cite authors, not the Bible. Every single you say something about the author you tie that author to history.
  • We shouldn’t expect rationale people to think Jesus raised from the dead because the Bible says so.
  • Acknowledge the odd as odd.  There are some odd things in the Bible.  Don’t be afraid of that.
  • Don’t create the impression that one must choose between faith and science. Science is the search for natural explanations. Just say, “Oh, so that’s how God did it.” We want people to find natural causes.  We want people to find out the reasons why things work the way they work.
  • It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. – Acts 15:18 NIV

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