Fill In The Blank Preaching

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Rippon, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. Rippon

    Rippon
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    Do any of you use this technique ? Perhaps not for the entire sermon , but parts of it ? Is it effective or not so desirable ? Should it be used for some congregations and not others ? I'm addressing fill-in-the-blanks . However , Dr.D.M.L-J would sometimes ask as many as 12 questions in a row -- surgical in nature , for his listeners to really reflect upon . That is a totally different approach than the subject here .

    The Corinthians were puffed what ? Puffed up .

    The Holy Who ? The Holy Ghost .

    The glory of what ? The glory of the cross .

    ... and Him what ? And Him they crucified .

    He has revealed things through His who ? ... Through His Son .

    My power is perfected in what ? Weakness .
     
  2. Salty

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    Actually I like it. When possible (time permitting) I will put in the bulleting an outline of my message. Leaving one or two words blank per line. This ecnourages people to fill it in. Then during the week, they may refer to it.

    The average person retains much more of what he sees than what he hears..

    Salty
     
  3. JustPassingThru

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    ... and when he writes it down ... well, that's even better.
     
  4. Tom Bryant

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    We do it for every Sunday morning service. It gives people something to take home and think about. Our contains all the scripture we mention as well as some extra study stuff for the Type A's in our church.

    All of this is on our power point screen. That way, they hear, see and write down.

    It is especially helpful when we do a book study because they then have something to guide them in their own personal Bible study.
     
  5. exscentric

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    I agree with the seeing, hearing, jotting and notes in the bulletin, however it seems a little insulting to the intelligence in the examples. Might work for middle schoolers, but I'd think adults might feel a tad insulted.

    Best way to know would be to ask the church goers you know.
     
  6. TomVols

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    I know that you retain 80-90% of what you see, hear, and write, but I struggle with getting past keeping preaching an oral activity. Often when you try to craft a good note-taking, Power-Point worthy outline, you've written for the eye and not the ear, the cardinal sin of preaching.

    Writing is a good practice. I always have bulletin space for notes and encourage jotting certain things down. I sometimes use blanks, but I try to make people write more than just key words because too often that's what you remember only. Also, a danger is trying to guess what the blank will be. I hear that from others in other churches. Their minds wander as they try to get a step ahead of the preacher.

    I think encouraging note-taking is good and using listening guides can be good, but we need to keep preaching an oral activity.
     
  7. Hope of Glory

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    Dittoes to what exscentric and TomVols said.

    Sometimes, when I use more than 8 or 9 different passages, I'll print out a verse list so we don't get distracted by all the turning, and I'll occasionally include notes on the verses, but my youth group even feels a bit silly with the fill-in-the blank approach.
     
  8. exscentric

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    Part of the problem, is some people need to be taught how to learn. I put together a notebook for a class year or two ago and passed it out. It had maps, pics, and study quesitons etc. I included the Bible book we were in with three or four spaces between verses so they could have the passage and room for notes.

    After the series was over one of the older guys - Seminary phd walked up and showed me one of the pages and said "I've been wondering what this was for." :tonofbricks:
     
  9. Tom Bryant

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    Tom,
    When I preach, the sermon notes and power point presentation comes last. I am not developing a message to put on power point. I am developing a sermon and then when it's finished, it goes on power point.

    Not sure I agree that preaching is primarily a mouth to ear activity. I don't just aim for an eye sermon, but an ear and eye. If retention of the message is important, and all of us think it is, then whatever makes it stick in the mind is to me, a good thing.

    I agree about people trying to fill in the blanks earlier. The notes are just a guide. I use other stuff on the projection than just what is on the notes.
     
  10. exscentric

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    I tend to be a little technical about learning but heard something years ago that makes a lot of sense.

    What did you have to eat for lunch on the third tuesday of last year?

    I have no idea would be the normal response. But you were nourished weren't you?

    We can't tell the preacher what we heard three weeks ago, but we probably were nourished. :thumbs:

    Not advocating not trying to use good teaching habits :laugh:
     
  11. Salty

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    Doesn't sound like a good analogy to me. Lets put this in reverse. Lets say you get sick and the doctor asks you what you have eaten for the past five days. You know you ate 4 days ago, but you don't remember exactly what. Therefore the lack of info may prevent the Dr from helping you properly.

    Conversely, we know the preacher preached a good message 3 weeks ago, but we forgot what he said about eternal security. So, what doesn't make any difference does it?
     
  12. Gayla

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    Our former Pastor would frequently pass out a fill in the blank page for sermons. I liked it, and I would add my own notes to the same page.
    I have those sheets and lots of pages of sermon notes that I do occasionally go back and read.
     
  13. j_barner2000

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    Here is the format of the outline handout I will provide tomorrow. It is set up to be on a half sheet of paper in landscape setting, with spaces to write.

    ( I am introducing Eph ch. 5. I began the series with the theme of the letter, then the main theme of each chapter, which is what I am into now. After that I will go to a verse by verse detailed study.)


    My preaching outline has the Scriptures referenced added and the powerpoint is just the passages.

    I have found that the congregation likes the format I use and tend to keep the outlines for future study.

    "Imitators of God"
    Focal Passage: Ephesians 5:1-20
    Scriptural Basis: Philippians 2:1-4; Romans 1:24-32; Matthew 12:30-37; Acts 26:16-18; Luke 6:35-36
    Concept: The poet has said, "I am a part of all that I have met." We have met Him and He is a part of us. Our lives must take on His mold.

    I. Compassion (5:1-2)
    Luke 6:35-36
    II. Cleanness (5:3-7)
    Romans 1:24-32

    III. Conviction (5:8-13)
    Matthew 12:30-37



    IV. Compulsion (5:14-21)
    Acts 26:16-18


    V. Conclusion
    Philippians 2:1-4

     
  14. bobbyd

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    I started usint the outline in the bulletin over the last few months with blanks...and so far it seems to be going well; most people do like them. It also encourages them to take notes and hopefully retain a bit more.
    We have also started using powerpoint, and i put those main points on the screen also.
     
  15. SBCPreacher

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    I've been using fill-in-the-blank outlines for a few years now. Many of our folks use them, some don't. During the PM services I also use powerpoint to reinforce the points.

    I often warn my folks to save their outlines as we go through a book of the Bible to study for the exam, but I have yet to give them one.
     
  16. Hope of Glory

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    I gave them one once.

    I didn't repeat it.
     
  17. go2church

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    Sunday mornings I usually am more topical and don't have an outline or notes for the folks in the pew. Sunday evenings is much more detailed and I pass out an outline with blanks to fill in. The fill in the blank portion is created AFTER I have my own sermon outline. I leave out key sections on the handout so that they have to listen to me at least a few time during the study! They get a handout on Wednesday at well.

    Seems to work well. You do have to stay disciplined in your preaching and not wander too far from your main thought. I have found these handouts help with this.
     
  18. Hope of Glory

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    Sometimes I do the opposite of fill in the blank. I will add things to Scriptures to see who's paying attention:

    "Believe on the Lord Jesus and continue in good works and you might be saved."

    "For by grace are you saved through faith, you earned it."

    Things like that.
     
  19. Salty

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    I do the same thing once in a while and then will add "Oh, I sorry, that was out of the Teachout revised version"
     
  20. exscentric

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    "Doesn't sound like a good analogy to me. Lets put this in reverse. Lets say you get sick and the doctor asks you what you have eaten for the past five days. You know you ate 4 days ago, but you don't remember exactly what. Therefore the lack of info may prevent the Dr from helping you properly.

    "Conversely, we know the preacher preached a good message 3 weeks ago, but we forgot what he said about eternal security. So, what doesn't make any difference does it?"


    The point was that we obsorb and are built up but don't necessarily know where it came from after the fact. Illustrations are always lacking in illustrative power if a microscope is applied, they are usually used to the obvious value.
     

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