Cowboy Preaching 101

by Kevin on September 9, 2011

Whether it’s preaching or giving a speech or even speaking during a meeting, there are two very easy ways to make anything you say memorable and meaningful. It’s these two things that make Cowboy Church preachers different and so effective at reaching the lost.

The really good speakers and preachers either know this, or will learn from it. I can’t take credit for putting it into these simple thoughts. That award goes to National Best-Selling Author Jon Acuff. Please take a moment to order his book(s), read his blog, or whatever else he has going on over there.

But despite who says it or who came up with it….it works.

If you are speaking to people, you should want them to listen to it, learn from it, and leave it with someone else. This can be accomplished by answering two very simple questions:

Can the listeners apply what is being said?

Can the listeners easily share what was said?

In looking at the first one, information without applicability is useless. I can give you the whole history of the cowboy hat, but unless I explain why you need a cowboy hat and tell you how to get a cowboy hat, I’ve just given you a bunch of information.

You have been chosen to speak for one reason or another, do something with it.

The second one is a little tougher, but I believe it’s probably the more important of the two. Some preachers, especially with those of small congregations, look out at their 25 people and think they are preaching to 25 people.

Not so…

If you show them how to apply the topic to their lives and give them a way to easily share it with others (and ask them to share it with others), then you are reaching many more. If each of those 25 tell one person about what you talked about, you have doubled your audience. Then if those 25 tell one person….you get the picture.

Now, these two things are simple…but I never said they were easy.

This is my routine and maybe it will help someone prepare their subject.

  • Can I explain my topic or subject in one sentence?
    –If not, this leads to those subjects that start out going one direction and then end up someplace else and everyone is lost.
  • Am I trying to help (application) or impress (information)?
    –This is what you do or how you use the topic. If you just explain what the topic is or what it means, you’ve done nothing but give information.
  • Can they share the topic easily and would they want to?
    –Make it easy to share and ask them to do so.

What are some tips that you have?

Would you please forward this to someone you care about or share on your favorite social media website? 😉

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  • Information without application is like that 1st place trophy from high school: it looks good but all it does is gather dust.

    Something I’ve been trying to do to help with the application part is make it personal and make sure I’m applying it. If I’m not able to or willing to apply something in my life, why in the world would I teach on it?

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