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Preaching that Connects

Recently I watched ESPN preview the Cowboys-Giants football game. Troy Aikman had broken his collar bone the week before, so ESPN interviewed players and coaches on his backup Jason Garrett and gave a history of big games by backup quarterbacks. Another segment let us eavesdrop on Giants coach Jim Fassel on the sidelines the week before. They showed comparative statistics and profiled legendary coach Tom Landry. Then the analysts offered their predictions.

Though I am a Bears fan, the pregame told me what to watch for and caused me to care about the outcome. I actually wanted to watch.

Many sermon elements, such as scripture readings, illustrations, and quotations, can benefit from such context. Your "pregame" can be one sentence, one paragraph, or five-minutes worth, and it can come at any point during the sermon. Its purpose: to prepare hearers to receive maximum benefit and cause them to care.

Note this effective pregame in a sermon by Robert Bakke, director of the National Prayer Advance ...

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