By Rev. Marty Levesque
If you are like me, December 15th is blocked off on your calendar. The latest trailer in the Star Wars franchise from George Lucas was just released and to see Luke Skywalker standing in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon once again sent shivers down my spine. To say I am excited for December 15th would be an understatement.
The trailer is a means for Hollywood to generate excitement for upcoming movies. This is known as a teaser. Show just enough without giving the story or the ending away to encourage people to stand in line to see the movie at midnight on opening day.
This tactic is not just reserved for Hollywood. Silicon Valley makes great use of the teaser whenever a new product is to be released. And video game producers have jumped headlong into producing trailers for upcoming video games.
The premise is simple. Release just enough to tease and leave people wanting more. And the premise can be applied to sermons.
The sermon teaser is nothing new. Megachurches often tease their upcoming sermon series to get people interested and committed. The sermon teaser is not just for sermon series though, but can also be used for special sermons, feast days and can even be used weekly, although I tend to use it sparingly.
The idea is put out just enough of your sermon to Facebook or Twitter to get your followers interested. It is picking one idea, putting it out there and leaving your followers wanting more. I often use what I think may be the most controversial line in the sermon to generate interest and drive traffic to the church’s front door.
For example, I would post, “It is the tragedy of the earthly city, the world around us, that we, the baptized, have been sent to perform the comedy of redemption.” Want to hear more? See you at All Saints’ on Sunday morning at 8:00 and 10:00 am.
One line is all that is needed to pique the curiosity of your followers and parishioners; one line to intrigue people to come to church; one line leaving them wanting more. The only restriction is that your sermon needs to be finished before Saturday night.
Rev. Marty Levesque is the diocesan social media officer and rector of All Saints’ in Waterloo.