In his new book A Primer on Biblical Preaching (CrossBooks), Jerry Sutton says, “When I want to connect, I need to be considering a set of questions that will help me refine my message…I must work to connect the listener and the truth of the text.”

Here are seven questions for spurring creative communication:

• What is the most creative way to say this?
• What is the most encouraging way to say this?
• What is the most interesting way to say this?
• What is the most personal way to say it?
• What is the most positive way to say it?
• What is the most practical way to say it?
• What is the simplest way to say it?

On the issue of creativity, Sutton asserts, “The less I am predictable in what I say, the greater the potential for impact. One year I did a Christmas series of messages on ‘The Emotion of Christmas.’ I looked through the eyes of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the wise men, Simeon and Anna. In the sermon on Mary, I talked about loneliness. I talked about false accusations and ostracism. I talked about being an outcast for the sake of Jesus. The creative revisiting of Mary’s experience connected. Of course, my point was the people of Bible days are no different than we are when it comes to emotions.”

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