If you’ve ever been to one of the Disney theme parks, you know what this picture is all about.
You enter the Disney property, park about three miles from the park entrance, and then the tram stops by your car to pick you up.
That’s what the tram does (not on its own, mind you; it usually has a driver): it circles the parking lot, picking up passengers at their different beginning points, and then carries them to a common destination.
Picking people up where they are and then carrying them as a community to a common destination.
That’s exactly what happens in the opening moments of a sermon.
The preacher makes different points of connection with different segments of the congregation, gets them on board with his argument/dilemma/situation, applies biblical truth to the subject under discussion and then VOILA! helps the community arrive at a common destination together.
That’s why those opening moments of any message are so critical. People either get on board or check out.
People don’t need to know what you’re going to tell them in those first few minutes.
They instead need to know you understand where they’ve parked that day.