Slow Down in the Curves!

Some of the more popular search topics that bring people to this blog are searches related to Andy Stanley. I’ve written about Andy Stanley’s (and Lanes Jones’) book, Communicating for a Change before (see One-Point Preaching). This book has been the single most impacting book I’ve read on preaching.

The first part of the book is a story about a truck-driving preacher mentoring a young pastor in the art of preaching and communication while on a road trip. The second half of the book discusses the themes that were revealed in the first half of the book.

At one point, Stanley offers suggestions on navigating the sermon using driving terminology (I’d look up the page number, but we haven’t unpacked our books yet). One suggestion is, “Slow down in the curves.”

By that, Stanley means taking it slow when transitioning from one part of the message to the next. Otherwise, you risk jerking listeners (i.e., passengers) around when moving from one section to another.

What happens when you don't slow down in the curves!
What happens when you don’t slow down in the curves!
I thought about this recently after arriving home with groceries. As you can see in the photo here, the chocolate milk didn’t handle the curves too well!

Slowing down in the curves is a good reminder for communicators. When we navigate the transitions (turns, lane changes, etc.), we have to make sure our passengers make the turns with us without getting knocked around.

Ultimately, it’s about flow. Flow has always been important to me in writing and in communicating. And because I’ve focused on flow for so long, I don’t even really think about transitions anymore.

But I may need to revisit my transitions to make sure my listeners fare better than the chocolate milk!

2 thoughts on “Slow Down in the Curves!”

  1. Lovely post about flow and transitions. Isn’t this why preachers use a lot of anecdotes and then quotes… to smoothly segue into another section, and to flesh out the meaning of each portion of the message?

    (BTW, found your blog via Liz Strauss’ Blog-To Show. I’m on the list as well at #90. God bless!)


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