Hammer it home!

Last Saturday I shared one of two great communication principles.

Select, don’t compress.


Today let’s look at the second principle.

It is better to hit one nail three times than to hit three nails one time.

I know…a little underwhelming isn’t it?

It is certainly not rocket science and probably beneath a distinguished homiletics professor, but I can hear our long-suffering congregations clapping as they give us a standing ovation.

I know, our listeners should be like the people back in George Whitfield’s day and enjoy two hour sermons (Standing the entire time!), but honestly, would you look forward to going to church every Sunday and listening to a two-hour sermon? (Even if you got to sit.)

Times have changed in the 250 years since Whitfield preached. Instead of two hours, most of your listeners do good to stay with you for thirty minutes.

Instead of the slower paced, low-stimuli life that Whitfields listeners lived, the people who dutifully show up to hear you preach are bombarded with an unbelievable amount of pressure, information, and distractions. While they are placidly sitting there trying to listen to you, their minds are like a bee hive humming with competing thoughts, temptations to secretly check their notifications on their phone, and figuring out how to juggle all the options and responsibilities waiting for them outside the doors of the church.

That’s okay if we’re willing to hit one nail (idea, thought, point) three times instead of trying to force our clever three-point outlines on our listeners.

The ONE THING for today: Remember, the goal is not to just give your people great content, the goal is for them to actually remember and apply the content you give them. Driving home one point three times instead of giving them three (or more) points one time greatly increases your chances.

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