2868 Leaders respond to survey "What to tell Pastors and Teachers"

First, thank you for the time you gave taking our survey “What would you tell Pastors and Teachers?”.  This may have been a number of months ago, but you took a 3 question survey that I sent to you on LinkedIn. 

I know you are busy, but please know that your input will bless others.  These results help build the foundation for a series of seminars that I give to pastors, teachers, professors and chaplains internationally.  We focus on training Pastors and Teachers in nations where they cannot afford either the time or expense to get an education.  For each group, we bring the entire foundation of knowledge that they will need in order to carry out their calling in the Kingdom of God.

This survey about presentation skills is only one of over 20 topics that we teach.

To date, we have had 2868 leaders from dozens of nations take the survey and these are the results to date:

Question #1  How would you rate most pastors and teachers as speakers?

0 = boring, 50 = O.K., and 100 = exciting.  The average rating was 56 or just above O.K.  That rating is from Pastors/Teachers about Pastors/Teachers.  I believe that if we polled the audience, that number might even be worse.  Here is the graph:

Clearly, if we are to engage our audience more effectively with the truth that God gave us, we need to make some changes.

Question #2  How could Pastors and Teachers improve their presentations?  Check all that apply.

If Pastors/Teachers were simply to use the first four:

- speaking with more passion and conviction

- tying the points together so the audience isn't lost

- making presentations practical

- using more stories

I believe we would radically change the way people perceived our presentations and perhaps significantly impact their desire to attend church.

Question #3 - What is the one thing that Pastors/Teachers/ Professors/Chaplains must do to be exciting speakers?

This question was essay/fill in, so I took the answers and grouped them into 14 major categories.  Each category is listed below and includes the category definition and the percentage of respondents who said this was the one thing they would recommend that Pastors/Teachers do in order to create an exciting and captivating presentation.

Dependence on God - 18.3% of respondents

Be fully dependent upon God, spend time in prayer, be filled with the Holy Spirit, be guided by the Holy Spirit, have an intimate relationship with God.

Personal - 17.8% of respondents

Live what you preach, speak from the heart, speak from personal conviction, the message must flow from your life, use personal experience in your messages, be transparent and honest with your audience.

Passion - 14.3% of respondents

Preach passionately, inspire and challenge your audience, preach with conviction.

Relevant - 10.8% of respondents

Make your content relevant to where your people are living, make it applicable, use real life applications so truth can be applied immediately.

Connect - 10.6% of respondents

Connect with those to whom you preach, love them, know your people so that you understand them and can speak into their lives.

Content - 9.2% of respondents

Master the content of the Bible, know Scripture intimately, keep learning and growing so that you feed people from the Word of God.

Teach the Bible - 6.7% of respondents

The Bible must be the central message, teach it and it alone.

It is not about exciting - 2.7% of respondents

The survey is all wrong, it is not about being exciting.

Preparation - 2.4% of respondents

Spend the time necessary to be ready to preach, spend time studying, planning, preparing.

Stories - 2.4% of respondents

Use illustrations and stories to make the message come alive.

Be Clear -1.8% of respondents

Make your message easily accessible to your audience, tie your points together so that what you are teaching is easily understood.

Body - 1.3% of respondents

Use more body movements, vocal variety, gestures and eye contact.

Professional training - .6%

Pursue professional input and training in order to improve.

Audience participation - .5%

Audiences learn best when they are interacting with the concepts being taught.

Humor - .4%

Use jokes and funny stories.

The advice given above is from men and women all over the world who have been in ministry, some for many years.  Many of the replies were passionate and intense, but the desire to see the Truth of God communicated more effectively radiated through most.  Clearly, if every Pastor/Teacher dedicated themselves to embedding into their lives and practices the first few in this list, we would all be better at what God has called us to do and be.

I pray this is a blessing and encouragement to your ministry, and that it makes you more effective for the Kingdom.


Dr. Vance


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