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Engaging Setups

How to introduce sermon elements in ways that increase their impact

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Preaching Today: We're here to talk about a sermon skill you refer to as the setup. What is a setup, and why is it important?

Brian Larson: The setup is something that all preachers do to some degree, but we may not all do it well; we may not do it consciously. I've noticed as editor of Preaching Today Audio that as I listen to sermons, sometimes there's a boredom factor, and I'll ask myself, What is it that makes this person hard to listen to? One thing I've identified is those who are hard to listen to often do not set up their material well.

We all understand the idea of an introduction to a sermon. A setup is an introduction, but it's something we use throughout a sermon, not just the first few minutes.

A setup may be used for an illustration or for a quote. I'll talk about various elements in a moment, but the idea is to introduce something in a way that creates interest, attention, orientation, and understanding of what's to come.

I think of several analogies. I enjoy photography. You ...

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