I just finished watching episodes I-VI of Star Wars for the very first time. No, I do not live under a rock, and no I am not a part of the dark side. It just didn’t seem that appealing to me, and after watching them, my intuition was correct.
Even though I wasn’t amazed by the movies, I realize that I’m probably in the minority. There are millions upon millions of people who absolutely love them. So, I don’t want to be too quick to write them off, because there are some things we can learn from them.
In fact I believe they can teach us a lot about preaching messages that connect with our audience. Here’s five tips I took from the movies:
- Hone Your Intro.
Is there a movie intro any better known than the Star Wars scroll with the theme music behind it? I don’t think so. The introduction invites you into the story. Yet, so many preachers mess this up week after week. “How’s everyone doing today?” or “What about this weather?” is not an acceptable introduction, although it is the quickest way to get people to tune you out. Your introduction should grab people’s attention and get them excited for what’s to come.
- Tell a Great Story.
Every great story ever written pales in comparison to the story God has already wrote. One of the reasons I believe Star Wars is so popular is because the main storyline “Good versus Evil” is a direct reflection of the Bible. When you’re preaching, place your audience into the story you’re telling. How will their story look differently if they follow Christ? Answer that question for them.
- Get Creative.
George Lucas introduced us to some incredible characters and places. He wasn’t afraid to get creative, and it paid off huge. You should do the same. Just remember there’s a fine line between being creative and being annoying. I’m thinking of you JarJar Binks? Don’t be afraid to use a whiteboard, props, or a song that will help illustrate the story better.
- Leverage Technology.
The technology used in the first Star Wars films was revolutionary at that time. No one had ever seen anything like it. This created a buzz around the films that has lasted decades. We now live in the most technologically advanced era of all time. People may not be carrying their Bibles to church, but they are carrying their phones, so make use of the YouVersion Bible App. Integrate pictures, videos, and the scriptures on screen. People will remember more if you stimulate multiple senses.
- Finish Strong.
The highlight of my entire Star Wars viewing experience was the fight between Obi Wan and Anakin at the end of Episode III, followed by the emergence of Darth Vader. It was an incredible moment. The end of your sermon should be no different. You’ve spent thirty minutes telling a great story, now is your opportunity to invite the audience into it. Don’t shy away from it, the force is strong with you.
Every preacher is going to have their own style and preferences, but I believe the use of these five tips can be beneficial to us all. I may have not been a fan of the movies, but I am a fan of good preaching, and we all know preaching the gospel is a great way to fight the dark side.
Are you a Star Wars fan? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below, and if you’re interested in more preaching tips subscribe to my mailing list to get my free Ebook “8 Steps to More Impactful Preaching”.