Have you ever noticed, during the sermon, that some people look at you with a blank stare?
This is not necessarily because you’re being unclear (though that is a possibility) but it may be that they are simply not getting it – even though they may sincerely be trying to. God has wired each one of us to receive and respond to information differently. When we preach we will find all types of people in our audience.
Their confusion might be because you are not communicating in the way that God has wired them to receive information.
It’s true, people receive information differently and the Holy Spirit uses those means to speak to them.
Three-dimensional preaching is when you communicate to all three types of people in your sermons. Let’s take a look at what these three learning types are.
1. The Auditory Learners.
These are the people who learn through words. For them, grammar, syntax, and word usage is very important and it will be how they will receive and respond to your sermon. The auditory learner is not really concerned about your hand gestures or your sermon props (actually, they find it to be unnecessary or distracting) – what they care about is the depth of your content.
2. The Visual Learners.
Visual folks learn with their eyes. Although your words are important, they love to be engaged with visual aids. They respond well when you communicate with your body and hands, video clips, and sermon illustration props.
For example, if you are telling a story as an illustration about a neighborhood boy who was peddling away on his bike from a vicious german shepherd, consider pretending that you are on the bike by holding imaginary handlebars. The visual learners will remember your point much better through such an illustration.
3. The Kinesthetic Learners.
People with this learning style are considered the “do-ers.” They are more “hands on.” While it is not realistically possible to physically involve all such learners into our sermons, we should be able to suggest for them clear and practical applications of the message.
It’s important to recognize that everyone possess some degree of each of these qualities. Your preaching style will typically reflect your own learning preference.
If you are more of an auditory learner, it may be the reason why you prefer to preach from a sermon manuscript.
If you are a visual learner it may explain why you have so many illustrations and props.
If you are a kinesthetic learner, you may sometimes find yourself extending the time of worship or even bypassing your sermon delivery altogether because the Spirit is present and you want people to continue in songs of worship to the Lord.
Not sure about this? Consider the Bible, which incorporates all three types of learners. As we flip through Scripture’s life-changing pages we can’t help but notice how there’s dialogue, parables, letters, poetry – all of which point to people’s different learning styles.
Jesus Himself, the most effective speaker of all time, would speak in parables to some (the crowds) and use plain words with others (disciples).
3D preaching is, essentially, incorporating all three styles of learning into the delivery so that your message can be most effective. You must do your part and plan well and trust that the Holy Spirit will always speak directly to more of your audience.
Question: What are some things you have intentionally done to reach these three types of people in your preaching?