So you want to know how to preach like Andy Stanley?
Today we’re going to uncover break down the preaching techniques of Andy Stanley – acknowledged as one of the top 10 influential pastors in the US and undoubtedly one of the most listened-to preachers worldwide.
And the good news is, unlike Colonel Sanders guarding his secret recipies, Andy Stanley doesn’t keep his preaching process under wraps…
In fact, he lays out the entire 5-step framework for you in his book, “Communicating For A Change.“
So, If you want to preach like Andy Stanley, let’s decode his sermons and uncover the simple yet powerful 5-step framework he uses every time.
Andy Stanley’s 5-Point Sermon Outline
Have you ever noticed how Andy Stanley preaches without notes?
That’s because he breaks his sermons down in 5 distinct parts:
Let’s go through them one by one 👇
1. Me: “Here’s My Problem”
Andy almost always starts his sermons by sharing a personal struggle or challenge he’s faced or is currently facing.
Firstly, because everyone loves a good story, especially a personal one. It’s a great way to grab your listener’s attention from the get-go.
Secondly and more importantly, it’s a strategic move to create tension and anticipation, setting the stage for what’s to come.
As Andy puts it, answering questions nobody is asking is one of the biggest preaching mistakes you can make.
Instead, you want to paint a vivid picture of the problem until everyone in the room is leaning forward on the edge of their seats begging for the solution.
Think of it this way:
You can’t make a horse drink water, but you can definitely make it thirsty by giving it a salt cube. Similarly, Andy Stanley’s approach is like offering that salt cube – it’s about making people eager for the truth.
2. We: “I’m Sure I’m Not The Only One”
Now that Andy has laid the groundwork by sharing his personal struggle, he seamlessly transitions to the ‘We’ phase of his sermon.
In this pivotal step, Andy connects with his audience on a deeper level by acknowledging that he’s not alone in facing this challenge.
By saying “I’m sure I’m not the only one,” he fosters a sense of unity among the congregation. It’s not just Andy facing this; it’s a challenge that resonates with all of us.
Pastor Andy Stanley is a great preacher because he understands . He very intentionally makes the sermon relatable to everyone.
Andy Stanley’s preaching mastery lies not just in storytelling but in the power of shared experiences. He very intentionally makes the sermon relatable to everyone.
3. God: “So What Does God Have To Say About This?”
With hearts connected through shared experiences, Andy now opens his Bible and points people towards scripture.
Here, he poses the crucial question, “What does God have to say about this?”
Stanley is intentionally training his church to seek answers in God’s Word when faced with life’s challenges.
Here, Andy’s brilliance shines as he transforms the text from words on a page into a living, engaging narrative. He’ll do a deep dive and sometimes even a word-by-word study to breally bring out the truth of the text.
He’ll also come up with a memorable sermon bottom line; a one-liner that cleverly converys the point of his entire message.
4. You: “Here’s What You Should Do About It…”
Now you’ve layed out the problem we all face and laid out the solution in God’s Word, it’s time to switch into life application mode.
Watch any Andy Stanley sermon and you’ll see him transition from the theoretical to the practical to empower the congregation to be doers of the Word and not just hearers only.
The brilliance of Andy Stanley’s approach lies in his ability to make the application relatable and achievable. You’ll often hear him encourage people to try something for a week, a day or a month.
By taking this step, Stanley ensures that his sermons translate into tangible actions, fostering real-life change – the very purpose of any sermon.
5. We: “Can You Imagine If…”
Now it’s time for the grand finale where Stanley casts vision to inspire action.
He’ll say things like:
- “Can you imagine what with happen in our marriages and families if we took God at His Word and…?”
- “What would your life look like if you applied this…?”
- “Can you imagine what our church/community/world would be like if we all learned to deal with fear/conflict/greed/anger/finances in this way?”
This visionary section is not just a hypothetical exercise; it’s a call to envision the radical transformation that will take place when we take God at His Word and apply it to our lives.
What I Like About Andy Stanley’s Approach
I’ve used the “Can you imagine if…” line so many times and it works every time. It’s a great way to end a sermon on a high.
Emulating Andy Stanley’s preaching style goes beyond just the delivery – it’s about meticulous planning.
One key aspect is how he structures his messages into 4-week sermon series.
Taking a page from his playbook, I’ve adopted a similar approach, utilizing a sermon calendar (like this one) to strategically plan out my messages for the entire year.
That way, you and your preaching team have ample time to come up with creative ways to get the message across in the best way possible.
Here’s a great example of Andy Stanley’s sermons so you can see his 5-step framework in action:
Take Your Preaching To The Next Level 🚀
I’ve used this exact framework in my preaching and I can tell you it works really well. So give it a try next time to preach and see how it improves your preaching.
Now you know exactly how to preach like Andy Stanley 🙌
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