Let me end this series with some final thoughts on opening your sermon with a strong introduction.
(1) Keep it short.
As I’ve mentioned several times in this series, your introduction simply gives the audience a glimpse of what’s to come in your sermon. You’re not going to divulge everything just yet and so there’s no good reason to have a lengthy introduction. I find that a 5-minute introduction is more than enough for any sermon. If you find that you’ve gone beyond 5 minutes, consider cutting it down. There’s still much to cover in your sermon.
Also, if you’re introducing yourself to the congregation, keep it to a minimum. As much as the audience appreciates your presence, they ultimately came to hear from God that day.
(2) Transition well.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to transition well from the introduction of your sermon to the body. The transition will make or break your introduction. Remember, if the congregation doesn’t see the connection, they will end up in confusion. Make sure that your transition is as well-thought out as the rest of your introduction. A good transition explicitly tells the audience how your hook connects to the sermon and gives a glimpse of what’s up ahead.
(3) Open with a smile.
Lastly, open with a smile (and wait for the audience to smile back at you). This will put both you and the congregation at ease with one another. It will also help slow you down so that you don’t rush right into your sermon.
Some pastors look so gloomy whenever they step up to the pulpit. Sometimes, it’s because they’re going through a rough time and we should encourage those pastors in whatever way we can. Other times, it’s because they dread the act of public speaking. In either case, pastors should always remember that they’re delivering good news that day and their disposition should naturally reflect that.
Series: Start Strong