Monday, July 29, 2013

WORSHIP: Brain Facts to Enhance Preaching Effectiveness

There are some brain related facts that can and should be applied to preaching. What is the purpose of preaching? One definition of sermon is "an often lengthy and tedious speech of reproof or exhortation." A much kinder definition is "an oration by a prophet or member of the clergy." Now, we all know that that's not what any pastor wants his sermon to be. So let me ask again:  What is the purpose of preaching? My guess is that it's going to have something to do with sharing the Word of God in a meaningful way. What do you want people to get out of each sermon? Once you know that you can consider how to get those points across to have the greatest impact on the congregation. These are things scientists know for sure about how our brains work. They will also help you develop appropriate slides to get those points to stick around a little longer.

Brain facts that will enhance your preaching effectiveness:

  • If you want people to remember something longer than 30 seconds you have to say it more than once.
  • It takes repeated exposure to something over long periods of time to make it a solid memory.
  • Memory and emotions have a great influence on what we consider boring and we don't pay attention to what we consider boring. Emotions make the brain pay attention.
  • Our senses work best together. For example, memory recall is higher when you combine hearing and seeing.
  • If you hear a piece of information you'll remember 10% of it 3 days later. If you add a picture you'll remember 65% of it.
  • You'll get 3 times better recall for visual information than for oral and 6 times better recall for information that's oral and visual simultaneously.
Ready, set, GO!

Brain information from Brain Rules by John Medina.

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