Six Ways to Make Your Sermon Stick


One of my favorite books is Made to Stick, by Chip and Dan Heath.  It’s all about how some ideas stick, while other ideas fade away.  As preachers, helping our messages stick is important.

In the book, the Heath Brothers (typing that makes me hungry for a candy bar), give six ways to make a message stick.

Here you go:

  1. Keep it simple.  Sticky ideas are simple ideas, not long paragraphs full of jargon and unnecessary words.
  2. Be unexpected.  Remember Jarrod from Subway? You probably remember that because you’ve never thought of eating at Subway as a diet plan.  It was an unexpected combination.
  3. Be concrete.  Abstract ideas are hard to remember, so if you can use real imagery, physical demonstrations and objects, you’ll have a greater chance of communicating ideas that stick.
  4. Get credible.  Don’t tell made-up “preacher stories.”  Work to get your facts right.  Did you know that specific facts read off an index card make you appear more believable?
  5. Be emotional.  Made to Stick references Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” as an incredible example of using optimism and positive ideas.
  6. Tell a story.  In elementary school, a ton of ideas are taught through telling stories.  Why are we so quick to abandon this method…it works for adults too!

I hope you work hard to make your messages stick.  After all, you’re communicating a life-changing message of hope that has the potential to impact eternity.