Tell It To Them Again

You as a pastor realize how important each and every message is, for indeed that is why God has had you deliver it
to His saints. If you are like most of us, we struggle with the thought that we are not getting through to the folks on
the pews. This brief lesson is designed to help in this regard.

I remember well the day a man came to me after a Sunday morning worship service and congratulated me on “always
having something new for me to feed on.” Of course I was grateful for the compliment, but I realized down deep
inside he had revealed something I needed to strongly consider. Not too many weeks just prior to that Sunday I had
the privilege of sitting at the feet of Rev. Kenneth Hagin for several days in a pastor’s conference in Plano, Texas to
feed on the good Word of God. Those meetings drove home a point to me that I had somehow missed forgotten from
all of my education and training, and that was the simple truth: Repetition Is The Key To Learning.”

Please hear me, Pastor, and receive a valuable truth you need in your pulpit ministry. Do not move too quickly from
one subject to the next. In order for your people to be adequately established in a given principle from the Bible
they will perhaps need a few doses of it. When you teach about the “love of God”, for example, if you will approach
the subject from several vantage points you will more than likely hit on the way most everyone in the congregation
can receive it and understand it more fully. The power of repetition helps to develop the truth. This repetition can
happen in the sermon itself as you look at the subject in various lights, or it may need to happen in several
consecutive sermons. I have found that most biblical topics need more than one sermon to fully develop it.

I must admit that at times this counsel I am giving to you is difficult for me to follow. The difficult lay primarily in the
self-imposed pressure we pastors feel to cover all the counsel of the Word of God for our people, not to mention the
subtle pressure we sense from them to always be exploring something new. Admittedly, we adults tire quickly of a
subject and desire to be taken to new ground as soon as possible. For this reason, one of the first things you need
to teach your people is how to learn, which certainly includes the patience as the subject is fully developed. When
the saints in my church understood why we needed to concentrate on a given topic for a season, they were happy to
do so. They understood that it was a good thing, one that would help them learn and grow and please the Lord.

The mistake I made early in my ministry is one that I see made frequently, especially in younger and less
experienced pastors, and that was to try to cover too much ground too quickly. I knew, just as you do, that there is
much in the Bible my people needed. At best I had only a little more than 100 hours in pulpit over the year, and that
seemed far too few to get done all that I felt needed to happen. So, with that in mind, I pushed hard to cover a lot of
ground rather than taking the time to cover what ground I could adequately. Do not make this same mistake. It is far
better for your people to fully understand a handful of truths from the Word of God than to have a cursory exposure
to lots of them, knowing that most of that cursory knowledge will do them little good because they are not developed
in any of them.

I encourage you to learn to use the very effective teaching tool of the series in your pulpit ministry. When you
remain on a given topic for several sermons, one thing for sure happens in the minds of the listeners, and that is
they believe this subject must be really important for you to take so much time on it. That is exactly what you want
them to think. Such thinking helps to cement the need for the investment of time, which in turn helps to settle the
saints into a learning track.

Here are some helpful hints just for you concerning utilizing series:

1) Try developing several lessons on any given topic based upon the varying levels of spiritual maturity that you
know exists within your congregation: a) The “milk” level, b) The “vegetable” level, c) The “meat” level. It is obvious
that you will deliver these in an escalating succession beginning with the lesser level and moving to the greater
level. This is an effective teaching tool because it assumes that everyone needs to either be developed from the
ground up or that even the spiritually mature are benefited because of the repetition involved.

2) Try developing a topic series based on one primary text passage. In this manner you begin the process of
development with the idea that you will remain focused on a certain text and that you will be using several pulpit
sessions to deliver it. This method differs from the first in that it does not utilize a progressive method of instruction
but rather differing viewpoints of the same subject in each pulpit session. By the time you take about three or four
fresh looks at a subject, you can feel pretty confident that your people are getting it, and that is a good feeling for
any pastor.

3) Try developing a topic series based on three or four distinct scripture references. This is another very effective
teaching method since it helps to add diversity to the series. There have been times I used this method and the folks
in the pews did not know I was in a continuation from previous sermons.

4) When you use a series to teach, there is the necessity to lay adequate foundation at the beginning of each
session in the form of a brief review of what has been covered previously. In this way people who were not in
attendance at the previous sessions can get tracked with you for the present session.

5) Promote the next lesson at the end of each session. This helps to lend continuity to what you are doing as well as
to motivate the saints to attend the next session. Hang that carrot out there in front of them, so to speak, and lead
them back again so they can benefit from the overall instruction of the series and not just from a single session or
two. I suppose it goes without saying that the level of excitement and interest you demonstrate on the present
subject flows off onto them.

6) Inject “added value” for them to take home as you dismiss each session. Most people in your congregation will
find it hard to remain focused on the overall series without your help. One of the ways you help them retain interest
and focus is to give them something each time that will directly help them NOW in their everyday lives. Hand them a
tool to use and the instructions to use it. They will go march out of the sanctuary feeling empowered and armed by
the Spirit, and that is a good thing.

Pastor, don’t get in a hurry. Take your time. It’s OK. You will be glad you did in the long run as you see your people
mature spiritually from the truths you help to establish in them.