There are two “one things” that I believe are vital to any effective preaching.
The first “one thing” is exactly that: the message needs to center on one thing. One truth. One point. One purpose. The journey to get to that one thing can be full of whimsy or full of pain or full of both, but it needs to arrive at a single destination.
At the recent men’s retreat, a couple of guys started repeating to me the “one point” from a slew of messages over the last fifteen months.
Either those guys listen way too closely or . . . if the preacher can craft a memorable, truthful sentence that serves as the refrain of a sermon, it will stick with people.
In any event, I know my preaching got better when I started saying less.
The second one thing is this: there should be “one thing” each Sunday that the preacher simply cannot wait to say. The kind of thing that makes him or her slightly on edge. An “I can’t believe I’m going to say this!” moment.
This “one thing” can either be the point of the day, part of the journey getting there, or part of the application once you’ve arrived.
It might be something potentially polarizing. (Those are always fun.)
Or it might be something that you know will capture the sentiment in the room and articulate the longings or memories people possess but haven’t yet verbalized.
It will almost always involve an element of surprise.
I believe I have a couple of those moments coming this weekend. I pray I can communicate the conviction I already feel about them.
One thing and one thing more.