When You Talk, Are People Changed?
Whether you speak from the pulpit, podium, or the front of a classroom, you don’t need much more than blank stares and faraway looks to tell you you’re not connecting. Take heart before your audience takes leave! You can convey your message in the powerful, life-changing way it deserves to be told. An insightful, entertaining parable that’s an excellent guide for any speaker, Communicating for a Change takes a simple approach to delivering effectively. Join Pastor Ray as he discovers that the secrets to successful speaking are parallel to the lessons a trucker learns on the road. By knowing your destination before you leave (identifying the one basic premise of your message), using your blinkers (making transitions obvious), and implementing five other practical points, you’ll drive your message home every time!
“Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away…”
“Once upon a time…”
“In the beginning…”
Great stories capture and hold an audience’s attention from start to finish. Why should it be any different when you stand up to speak? In Communicating for a Change, Andy Stanley and Lane Jones offer a unique strategy for communicators seeking to deliver captivating and practical messages. In this highly creative presentation, the authors unpack seven concepts that will empower you to engage and impact your audience in a way that leaves them wanting more.
- Great book of tips from an expert!
The speaker was great to listen to. The book is filled with practical tips for preaching, or really, any communication. My favorite parts are the tips about what to do when you are stuck.
- Interesting, helpful, but not biblically and theologically rich.
This book is incredibly helpful to understand the homiletical approach of Andy Stanley. If you are committed to expository preaching, then much will be irrelevant. However, there are many great communication tips and techniques that anyone can use.
- Creating Memorable Preaching
Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley is a very interesting and slightly controversial book on communication within the church. In particular it focuses on a certain method of preaching that is highlighted by having only one point to each message.
It starts with a story about a pastor who seems to be struggling a bit with his preaching and a friend sends him to see the best preacher he knows, who just happens to be a truck driver. It is an interesting story, if a bit far-fetched, that leads outlines the points that will be addressed later in the book in a memorable way.
I don’t do any preaching but I found this book quite interesting as it goes against what the majority of preachers do regularly on Sunday mornings. The focus on only one point is a major difference but it makes a lot of sense if you want people to actually remember what you say and put it into practice in their lives.
The narration was quite good as the book flowed along nicely and made listening easy. It helped that the first part of the text was a story, which helped to get into the book.
This book would be an interesting book for everyone who preaches on a regular basis in their church. They may not agree with everything in it but if they put into practice some of the keys they are bound to see results.
This audio book was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. More information can be found about this and other Christian audio books at christianaudio.com.
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- Loved it but...
I really enjoyed this book. Yes, the first half of the book is a fictional story about a pastor getting insights from a trucker. Was it a little far-fetched? Ya, probably. Did I enjoy the story and learn from it? Absolutely.
This is a book written to help communicators learn how to say things in a way that will stick with their audience. The book is geared towards Christian leaders, and that's where I feel what Andy has to say falls a little short.
In terms of communication in and of itself, Andy's passion for one big idea with each talk seems excellent. It's effective. It works. It makes sense. He unpacks the concepts he sets up with his story in the first, fictional half of the book very well. His book has one big point. Have one point.
So if I loved the book, why only 3 stars? If this were a general book on effective communication I'd give it 5 stars. It's full of great human wisdom. He's a smart man. However, Andy is targeting Christian leaders, and Christianity is about Jesus.
Church is about Jesus. Preaching is about Jesus. We exist to glorify Jesus. Although Andy wants to see people learn the Bible, as far as I could tell he neglected to tell us that the only way to have true, lasting impact on people - point them to Jesus.
There's lots of great tips on motivating people, and even driving home a Biblical truth, but a one-point message that's clear as a bell that forgets to talk about Jesus falls short.
There were 3 other concerns with this book.
#1, his statement about removing from circulation a message on homosexuality he preached when he was a young preacher. I'm not exactly sure why he did this, or what he said in it, and if he's just trying to be seeker friendly.
#2, he references Rob Bell a couple times as a Christian pastor. From a biblical standpoint the little I've heard of Bell shows quite clearly that he's strayed far from orthodoxy. He's for fidelity in marriage, whether it's man-woman, man-man, women-woman? Love wins and hell might not be real? While Bell may be an extremely gifted communicator that people can learn from, Stanley goes so far as to call him someone committed to Biblical truth. That is a scary statement to hear,
#3 Was Jesus not the greatest communicator we'll ever know? Look at what he did. Some Bible verses would seem fitting coming from a Christian- to Christians. There's not much (any?) Bible verses in this book!
So go ahead, read the book and learn. You will learn, you will be challenged. But don't forget it's about Jesus, not your brainy idea that you drive home so skillfully.
I received a free audiobook of this book for review purposes from christianaudio.com
- Direct, powerful, and painfully practical
Andy Stanley and his co-author, Lane Jones, attempt to lay out the best practices of preaching in Communicating for a Change. I can imagine this book being somewhat controversial since the topic of preaching almost always is. Everyone has “the way they learned it” from a beloved professor or mentor, and it’s “their way or the highway.” Like a bull in a china shop, Stanley charges right in and redefines it all.
The book is broken into two distinct parts. The first part is in the “business parable” style of The One Minute Manager; telling the story of a frustrated preacher seeking guidance from an unlikely mentor. The second part expounds on the “seven communication principles” introduced in the first part. It should be noted that Stanley uses the terms communication, preaching, teaching, etc. interchangeably. Some would take issue with this, but I tend to agree with him that the principles are transferable.
The real value of this excellent book is that is pulverizes all our conceptions of preaching is and what it should accomplish. Stanley is setting out to put us back on the road of intentionality. Speaking of roads, travel language abounds as Stanley relates the sermon to a journey, and ties all the principles to memorable driving analogies.
For me the greatest takeaway is the idea that all sermons should just have one point. In fact, since reading this book I haven’t been able to get that idea out of my mind! Every lesson and talk is now going to be seen through this new-found lens. Thanks, Andy! The rest of the principles are also meaningful, and will be revolutionary (and possibly inflammatory) for many pastors.
Some may perceive Andy as arrogant as he talks about sermons he’s suffered through, and how most of our ideas of preaching are wrong, and so on. However, I thought his direct tone fit the message of the book perfectly. Put aside your pride, and listen well. He may have something to teach you, and you likely have a lot to learn. I know I do.
Stanley has this great ability to know what will make his reader bristle, and the very next sentence will call you out for bristling. Brilliant! Also, the narration is well-suited for this book: calm, direct, clear.
In short, this book is must read for all communicators—not just preachers. I recommend it without reservation.
Please Note: This audiobook was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work.
- Communicating for change...not just for sermons
When you communicate is it for change or wasting oxygen? If you could only have one point and confine it to one point could you do it? What if everything you have been taught about putting together a sermon (discipleship, teaching, public speaking, or just dialoguing with someone) was wrong? This 2010 book finally made it to audio and bring to life story and application in two parts. First, a pastor wants to improve his Sunday delivery and he meets a trucker that will change his life. Second, Andy and Lane outline the principles in application for those who need lists.
I found this audio interesting in that I am not preaching every Sunday, but yet I am dialoging with folks all the time and this really challenged my thinking in this area. It challenged my desire to fire hose people and instead focus on one point. Whether it is in engaging in good questions or communicating for change. This audio enlightened me in thinking that just because I wasn’t preaching, I could benefit from a critique of my communication methods. I don’t know if I am asked to preach again, if I would put the outline together like this, but it would definitely influence a one point fallen-condition-focus in my next one.
I felt like for the first part of the book reading the "One-Minute Manager", which caused me to rewind and listen multiple times, however I picked up more in the second half of the audiobook as it focused on application.
The outline of the method being described is: Determine your goal; pick a point; create a map; internalize the message; engage your audience; find your voice; start all over (Me, We, God, You, We). I would also add that the next step…implication is going to take some mediation, thinking and asking good questions for the dynamics I have in my life. For 196-pages of the book, Lloyd James did an excellent narration which was presented in a cohesive and yet appealing manner. This book although mentioned scripture and had some sprinkled through it was not an exegesis. The most gracious comment I could share about the work would be that implications were made that pointed to Christ sharing one-point versus bullet sermons and handouts. Would I recommend this book to others? Maybe. It is not a MacArthur or Jay Adams work on preaching with a purpose, but it does give novices something to think through before ‘studying’ homiletics.
- Very Easy Llisten
I did enjoy this audiobook from Andy Stanley and Lane Jones. I particularly enjoyed the parable which makes up the first part of this audiobook. I found this made the book far more engaging, rather than just the teaching part. I am not a preacher or involved in public speaking of any kind, but I still learned a lot. The narrator Lloyd James is perfect for this audio as he narrated the parable just as well as the teaching section. I am unfamiliar the authors voices so Lloyd James became them for me as I was listening. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is involved in preaching/teaching and needs an encouragement to keep going. I would also recommend this to listeners who are contemplating this ministry as I think it would help to decide whether it is the right ministry for you.
Thanks to christianaudio.com Reviewer's Program for this copy.
- Not What I Want in a Preaching Book
I probably would not have chosen to read an Andy Stanley book on preaching, but as part of the christianaudio.com reviewers program, I took a chance. To be honest, I found exactly what I expected: a well-written book with some very helpful advice, but with a philosophy of preaching with which I do not agree.
Stanley and Jones are effective at writing in a winning style. For the most part, their points are clear and thought-provoking. I think that anyone who regularly communicates publicly can find nuggets of wisdom and truth in this book.
However, as a passionate believer in expository preaching, I do not agree with some of the conclusions, recommendations, and statements in Communicating for a Change. I do not recommend a one-point message, or a three-point-message for that matter, but instead believe that we should allow the text of Scripture to communicate exactly as many points as the author of the passage intends. It seems that Stanly and Jones at times caricature preaching styles with which they do not agree, arguing that those who follow other methods are more interested in “teaching the Bible” than “teaching people.” If a reader does not have a strong understanding of the reasoning behind a particular preaching methodology, he or she might too easily assume that Stanley is the only person out there who really wants to see lives changed by the message of the Scriptures.
I would not recommend that most people read Stanley and Jones on the topic of preaching. The only people I would recommend this book to are those who are already solidly grounded in preaching who might find helpful advice. I would not want to see someone build their philosophy of preaching based on this book.
The book is very well-read, and the recording quality is excellent.
I was given a free audio copy of this book to review as a part of christianaudio.com's reviewers program.
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