One of the questions I have always wrestled with as a communicator is how often should I reteach a message or reemphasize a point? AND…that seems to be a question I get very often is, “How often do you repeat yourself/reteach a message?”
Pastors…let me try to relieve some pressure. If you think you are going to have to say something original every Sunday from now until you die…you might just go flippin crazy!!!
I believe that as a pastor I often make two false assumptions when it comes to communicating God’s Word…
#1 - People remember everything that I said the last time I taught on this.
One of THE most humbling things that has ever happened to me was once when I was getting ready for a creative meeting and assembled the notes based on a message I had put together 17 months previous. I really felt like God wanted me to preach a lot of the same stuff again…so, I sent out the notes and was ready for the meeting the next day…thinking I would hear, “We’ve done this before!”
When I got to the meeting the next day everyone thought the message was incredible & thought it should be taught as is with no changes. I then reminded them that the reason it was so good as that everyone in the room had put that exact message together 17 months prior.
NO ONE REMEMBERED IT
until I began to talk about it a little more! It was SO humbling.
Pastors, we give ourselves WAY too much credit…we think people remember every word we said, when, in actuality, on Monday morning when we are still thinking about the message…the people who attended our church the previous day are actually thinking about how to get their kids to school in time and things of that nature. Most of them aren’t thinking about everything we said the day before.
#2 - People Need To Be Reminded Of Previous Truths They Have Been Taught.
I know I need to be! Pastors—we cannot teach a spiritual truth one time and then assume everyone in the church will remember it and continually apply it! We’ve got to teach new things…but also remind of previous truths that have been taught.
We see Peter in II Peter 1:12-15 and II Peter 3:1 flat out say that he is all about reminding people of the timeless truths he has already taught.
Don’t be afraid to continually teach…
I could go on and on…but you get the picture…we need to teach AND repeat truths.
Say it—even though they’ve heard it!
Say it again—even though they know it!