An Engaging Question Can Add Freshness to Your Sermon

An Engaging Question Can Add Freshness To Your Sermon

We are reflecting on keeping your preaching fresh.  Here’s another strategy to add to your arsenal: an engaging question can add freshness to your sermon for your people.  Let’s talk about it.

Jesus Asked Questions

When you read through the gospels, you can note 237 questions that Jesus asked.  Sometimes his questions were spoken to the Jewish leaders, but other questions were addressed to the disciples to make them think.  Remember, when Jesus spoke, he also expected answers to be spoken.  For instance, when he asked the young man who addressed a question to him about the summary of the Gospel’s message, to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself.  The question the young man asked, “Who is my neighbor?”  (Luke 10:29).  Jesus proceeded to tell the parable of the Good Samaritan.  At the end of that story he asked the important question to the young man:

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

The question was intended to make the man think.  He had to work through the implications of the story for his own life.

“Who do you say I am?”

In Mark 8 we have another question of Jesus.  Jesus is leading them to the area around Caesarea Phillipi.  That was an area that where people worshiped a pantheon of gods.  There it was that Jesus asked the question:

27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”

Many answers were given.  Then Jesus asked the really important question:

29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”

An Engaging Question Creates a Fresh Awareness

Very early in this blog I was focusing on introductions and posted about how an intriguing question can grab peoples’ attention.  You can check out that post here.  Well, the same is true for adding freshness to the rest of the message.

I substitute teach in a class of about 40 men on Friday mornings at my church.  Recently I taught a class on fasting.  I had a powerpoint presentation that I copied for the participants since there isn’t the audio-visual equipment in that class.  A very quick summary  of  the Old Testament teaching on fasting began my presentation.  Then the New Testament’s references were quoted.  At that point, I asked the question, “Who here fasts regularly?”   A couple of hands were raised.  Then I asked another question:  “Why do we not fast if it is such a dominating subject in Scripture?”   Over the next hour we explored what more fasting in our lives might look like.”

Of course, that was in a Bible study.  What about doing this in a church service?  You can bet that it will catch people’s attention.  I’ve done this in a church service with about 500 people.  I’ve asked people to guess things, or to reflect on a question that would help make the point.

A Good Question Makes People Reflect

A friend of mine uses this well in a pretty traditional church.  It was surprising to me when I visited there to see how well people responded.  If this is all new to your church, you may have to plant someone to begin the responses.  Give it a try.

Another Resource

Here is another great resource to look at if you want to explore more the idea of bringing freshness to your preaching.  Bruce Mawhinney published a book titled, Preaching with Freshness.   Here is a link to this book.