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Communicating for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communication

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  1,350 ratings  ·  141 reviews
When You Talk, Are People Changed? Whether you speak from the pulpit, podium, or the front of a classroom, you donâ?t need much more than blank stares and faraway looks to tell you youâ?re not
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by Multnomah Books
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Rachel Blom
There is a lot of good, even great advice on how to deliver a sermon in Communicating for a Change. To get to the good stuff however, you need to read through the first part of the book first and that was a bit of a struggle for me, because I didn’t care much for it. Don’t let that deter you from reading the book though, for you’ll miss out on good insights into preaching that really connects with your audience.

Communicating for a change is written by Andy Stanley, founder and senior pastor of N
Though my goodreads account has suffered serious neglect of late, I have indeed been reading, and now that I have a bit of breathing space, I think I will add books a few at a time to avert a deluge.

To be honest, I considered not adding this particular title fearing what some of my friends might think a) about why I am reading a book on preaching and b) why I am reading Andy Stanley at all. But I found this book so genuinely helpful that I feel I must heartily recommend it to anyone who would l
Al Garlando
Jul 20, 2011 Al Garlando rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Pastors, preachers, Bible students
This is the sequel (sort of) to "7 Practices of Effective Ministry.
It will challenge the way you think about sermon preparation and delivery.
For me, it means a return to what I was originally taught regarding sermons, especially the difference between preaching and teaching.
Teaching is imparting information, whereas preaching is aimed at changing the listener.
To do you need to keep it simple. This maximises your impact and focus.
One of the "7 Practices" is expounded further in this book - Less f
Ben Bandiera
I belt the writer has some unresolved chips on his shoulder towards certain styles of preaching, especially anything that is 'bible heavy,' that being said, the second half of this book raises some solid points about communication and things that anybody getting up to preach the gospel should think about. This is of-course after you wade through 100 odd pages of some drawn out retelling which honestly disproves his whole argument about storytelling being an effective way to communicate informati ...more
Stanley & Jones' Communicating For A Change is my new go-to book for practicing homiletics. The five-point sermon made sense in an age when people were used to hearing and following one to two hour discourses. That's not the current culture and preaching needs to adapt. While the method Stanley & Jones present is clear and simple, the practice will be difficult, less so for those practiced in story-based preaching, but certainly for those schooled to the classic academic Protestant style ...more
This is really two books in one. While the first half narrative interested me, it was the second half's principles that really hit it home.

My style of speaking is on disseminating a lot of information, and I usually let my personality do the audience engagement. People pay attention, but there does not seem to be a lot of action after the fact. Some of these principles challenged me to be a more challenging speaker.

Stanly's writing is very easy to follow and he does make some valid points for a
Benjamin Thompson
Andy Stanley points us to some important truths in Homiletics in this book. His central point is simply that all pastors need in their sermons is a single, central point. Too often, pastors use cutesy alliterations and puns to tie a bullet pointed message together and nothing else. However, in any other speaking context this way of teaching would be considered utterly ineffective. At the same time, Stanley points to the importance of connecting with the audience as strongly and quickly as possib ...more
Kenneth Clapp
A friend of mine jokingly suggested that if I hadn't read this book yet, I should get it and read it before the coming Sunday. Since I still had a few more days on my Amazon prime trial I decided to go for it. I ordered it on Tuesday. The book showed up Thursday morning about 9:30. By 6:30 that evening I had finished the little book. Though I hadn't managed to further my sermon preparation that day I have to say it was one of the most productive days I have had in a long time. Friday I went back ...more
Robert Justice
First of all, I loved the layout of this book; very creative. Usually, non-fiction is strictly in the monologue format; the author is giving a different lecture in each chapter and the reader just "listens". However, the first half of this book was done in the fashion of a story, and Stanley does it very well. It helps the reader become interested in what is going to happen next, and it also helps to cement the ideas that the author has on preaching in the reader's mind. The last half is the tra ...more
Jason Retherford
good book. very helpful for communicators to think through what they are doing. i was challenged, pushed and thinking of centering everything around one point is a new idea. i enjoyed reading how andy stanley fleshes out his ideas. it will be fun to try to incorporate his ideas to become a better speaker, a better communicator, a better travel guide.
I have read numerous books over the years by Andy Stanley, he never disappoints. You want to get on track with delivering effective and relevant sermons/messages, then I highly recommend this book for you. Easy to read, yet immensely profound and practical. Enjoy the read!
Jaclyn Wynne
It was a decent book, simple enough to understand and does have some solid points on how to be a better communicator. Some worry that the book will cause continued biblical illiteracy but I disagree because Andy's point is not that you don't cover the text, but that you can't do it all in one sermon (well you can but people won't remember). This book is just one way to learn how to communicate better.
I could have done with only one part of the book, Andy begins with a story and then moves on to
Brent Dacrow
I love public speaking and I am always looking for ways to improve. This book challenged my paradigm of how to present information. I enjoyed how the first half of the book presented the authors template for public speaking by presenting the information in the form of a narrative story. I like how the author then explained his template in part two of the book and giving further explanation as to how to implement his template. This book was wonderful as well as informative and it has challenged m ...more
Steve Campbell
Andy makes a compelling case for constructing one-point messages and then shows the reader how to build on that point to create a sermon that will lead to life change. The first part of the book consists of an extended metaphor/parable/story that creatively introduces Andy's method of developing life-changing sermons. This first section is written by Andy's co-author Lane Jones. In the second part of the book, Andy lays out his method and explains how it leads to clearer, more engaging messages. ...more
This book was highly recommended to me by two friends who are pastors (Megan and David Collins). This is a great book and if you are a preacher or a teacher I think this is a must read. I love the idea that as a teacher of the Word the goal can't just be to transfer information...but to change lives. How do we do that? If you are intrigued then read this book.

I agree, as was pointed out to me, that the first half of this book is pretty much unnecessary. So if you feel a bit bored or annoyed wit
Peter Mead
Let me be honest. I love studying the subject of preaching. I want to be a lifelong student of the subject. But if I’m honest, a lot of books about preaching are somewhat dull, tedious, repetitive and unengaging. Not this book. Engaging. Compelling. Motivating. Intriguing. Is it perfect? No. But, I think you should read it.

The book reflects a highly pragmatic authorship. Stanley writes, “I’ve listened to dozens of preachers and teachers whose stated purpose for communicating is changed lives but
Stanley can frustrate me at times, but there is no pastor who has been more helpful to me in challenging and strengthening me in my preaching. The book begins with what feels like an over-long and slightly over-wrought telling of a struggling pastor and how a preaching trucker helps revamp his preaching. Bordering on hokey, I almost skipped straight to Stanley's straightforward chapters later, but I stuck with it, and I'm glad I did. As is often the case, even when I'm frustrated with his approa ...more
Some of my friends will really bristle at Stanley's concept of a one point sermon. I probably would have too if it were not for two factors. The first is that my preaching professor, Dr. J. Ellsworth Kalas, encouraged his students to lean in this direction. The man is in his late eighties and has been preaching and studying the art of preaching since he was a teenager, so I trust him. The second reason is that I have sat through all kinds of multi-point sermons since infancy and the ones that I ...more
I probably would not have chosen to read an Andy Stanley book on preaching, but as part of the reviewers program, I took a chance. To be honest, I found exactly what I expected: a well-written book with some very helpful advice, but with a philosophy of preaching with which I do not agree.

Stanley and Jones are effective at writing in a winning style. For the most part, their points are clear and thought-provoking. I think that anyone who regularly communicates publically can
Jonathan Brooker
I think this book meant a little less to me because it wasn't as enjoyable of a medium to learn the material as it was to hear him speak it. Recently having heard him give a talk at a youth leaders conference on ways to improve communication, I found much of this to be a repeat. But it was worth being repeated. He provides good framework for communicating better and connecting better with your audience.

As for my critiques, I will say that Stanley comes across a bit arrogant and self-sure at time
Ben Rice
When my pastor told me I "had" to read this book, I was skeptical. When he told me it was "the" book on communicating effectively, I became concerned. Then I read it. He was right. The first half of the book is a parable that helps to convey the principles that are laid out in the second half. Stanley does an exceptional job in informing his reader that the bottom line to having your message heard, applied, and remembered is to only teach the bottom line of the message, while having everything e ...more
Brian Pate
Quick, enjoyable read. I found it immediately helpful as I applied a few principles to my preaching. The principles in this book are not as new or revolutionary as they make them out to be. But they were good reminders.

1. One-point sermon. I didn't see how this was all that different from the big idea, thesis, or proposition that is often taught in preaching. But it was a good reminder.

2. Internalize the message so you can preach (largely) without notes. I end up doing this any
Starla Gooch
This book is a pretty quick read. The writing style is simple and clear, yet full of good content. The first half of the book goes through a story illustration to discuss seven points of preaching for life change, while the latter half of the book is written as non-fiction--straight from author to reader.

While this book is easy to read, it's also challenging for any preacher. Stanley is great about explaining his own process and methodology without bashing anyone else's. (However, if you believ
Scott Graham
Innovative way to discuss sermon construction using a contrived but effective relationship between a struggling young pastor and a truck driver. Stanley is certainly good at making pithy comments on communicating - this is definitely worth 2-3 hours of your time if you're regularly preaching. Many homiletical books are aimed too 'high' at theory; this is a nice corrective.
As I prepare to give my first sermon I am so thankful my school library had this book. I feel it gives me a really good outline to start from of how to structure what I'll share with my audience. As of now, after reading the book but before actually preparing the sermon, I think it's great and I trust the tools I learned will really help when applied to my sermon.
I did enjoy this audiobook from Andy Stanley and Lane Jones. I particularly enjoyed the parable which makes up the first part of this audiobook. I found this made the book far more engaging, rather than just the teaching part. I am not a preacher or involved in public speaking of any kind, but I still learnt a lot. The narrator Lloyd James is perfect for this audio as he narrated the parable just as well as the teaching section. I am unfamiliar the authors voices so Lloyd James became them for m ...more
Really solid concepts and immediately applicable teaching. I regret I had not read this sooner. The first half of the book is a fable, and the second breaks the concepts down. While this was certainly illustrative and fun, it felt a little forced at times, and I found myself just skimming along.
Lonzo Sheffield
I found this book to be challenging in a very positive way, encouraging in embracing your style, and persuading in dropping bad habits to pick good habits that will change a life.

In my opinion, a must read for all communicators of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Andrew Neveils
Aug 15, 2008 Andrew Neveils rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who feels the calling to become a more effective communicator
This book was great! It does a great job of explaining the imperatives by way of a parable. Then Stanley starts writing and his conversational tone helps to better understand his points - which he follows, even in his writing.

I feel as though I will be better able to communicate for change.

My only pull on the book is Andy sets his ideals a bit unrealistically, and biased. They are great to use but they seem to require more than a few speaking engagments to test them out. If you follow these impe
Danny Kim
If this book was sold in your local grocery store it would be found in the CHEESE isle where only struggling communicators/preachers would pick it up. Therefore, it was the perfect book for me to revitalize and refocus my sermons. The fictional story was cheesy but it did effectively communicate the great truths found throughout the book.

I went from the pressure of what felt like presenting a 3 point term paper each week to being freed to keeping it clear and focused for the sake of leading othe
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Preaching Styles/personality 1 4 Jun 10, 2014 07:23AM  
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  • The Think Orange: Imagine the Impact When Church and Family Collide...
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Andy Stanley is the senior pastor of North Point Community Church, Buckhead Church, and Browns Bridge Community Church. He also founded North Point Ministries, which is a worldwide Christian organization.
More about Andy Stanley...
Deep & Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend Visioneering: God's Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Personal Vision Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future The Principle of the Path: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be Seven Practices of Effective Ministry (North Point Resources)

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“So what do you do when you are stuck?

The first thing I do when I am stuck is pray. But I’m not talking about a quick, Help me Lord, Sunday’s a comin’ prayer. When I get stuck I get up from my desk to head for my closet. Literally. If I‘m at the office I go over to a corner that I have deemed my closet away from home. I get on my knees and remind God that this was not my idea, it was His…

None of this is new information to God…

Then I ask God to show me if there is something He wants to say to prepare me for what He wants me to communicate to our congregation. I surrender my ideas, my outline and my topic. Then I just stay in that quiet place until God quiets my heart…

Many times I will have a breakthrough thought or idea that brings clarity to my message. . .

Like you, I am simply a mouthpiece. Getting stuck is one way God keeps me ever conscious of that fact.”
More quotes…