Recast : to melt something down and reshape it into another form;
to present something in a different way.
Let me give you one simple way to increase the effectiveness of your sermon. It has to do with recasting or presenting your sermon’s main point[ref]Yes, I generally favor one-point messages[/ref]in a fashion that may not be intuitive for some. What do I mean? Often, because of training as preachers and expositors of the Scriptures, many a pastor constructs a main point that’s perfectly true to the text and immensely clear for the listener. For example, this week one of our campus pastors, after working through the parable of the Lost Son in Luke 15, constructed the main point of his message as follows:
Jesus came to seek and save the lost.
It’s good. It’s true. But I challenged him to recast it. Why? Because this is a main truth for the head, and it needs to be something more. I told him it needed “truth with some skin on it” – something you could relate to, feel, connect with. Listeners need truths presented in a way that speaks not only to their heads but their hearts as well. That’s why an effective preacher will ask himself if his message’s main point can be recast from a Main Truth for the Head into a Main Truth for the Heart? This isn’t an appeal for emotionalism or guilt-trip gimmicks, but an earnest rephrasing of a truth in order that congregants might better connect with both the intellectual and emotional reality of that truth.
But that can be hard to do. So, I asked my fellow pastor, “What is the emotional center of your message? What moves you about what your read in Luke 15? What stirs you in your gut about Jesus’ appeal to his listeners?” Without hesitation he responded, “Yancey, it’s that he’s there and he’s waiting.” That was it! He had just recast his main point and didn’t even realize it. Can you
see feel the difference?
Jesus came to seek and save the lost. vs He’s there and he’s waiting!
The recast point has skin on it. It appeals to the heart. It’s something listeners can lean in to and feel for themselves. This is value and power behind recasting. It wraps our hearts into the main point by giving hooks to hang our emotions on instead of solely being in the head. In other words (and to channel my inner Jonathan Edwards), recasting hits after the affections and, as such, makes for a better message.
Try it. Ask yourself this week if your message’s main point needs recasting in order to hit both head and heart.