You know what a trigger is, right? The first thing that pops into my mind when I hear the word, trigger, is a gun. Without a trigger, your gun would be worthless. Well, unless you use it as a club. Without a trigger, you can’t fire the weapon. You can’t defend yourself. You can’t take care of what’s standing in your way. When you weigh the importance of the trigger in comparison to the rest of the gun, it’s rather small but absolutely critical.
If you think about it, a trigger is nothing more than a tool that prompts action. It’s the tool that will take you from point A to point B. In other words, from a loaded gun to an empty gun. It just so happens that you have all kinds of triggers that you can use in your preaching. Metaphorically speaking, when you pull the trigger, it will move your target. In this case, your listening audience/congregation. It’s up to you to figure out which triggers to use… and when the best time is to pull those triggers. Let me give you a few of the whopper, more common triggers…
It doesn’t matter who is sitting in your congregation, everyone is scared of something. Young, old, rich, poor, Christian and non-Christian alike, fear is a very real emotion. In fact, I believe it to be one of the more powerful emotions we experience as humans. Fear will paralyze you. Fear will also motivate you. Addressing what people fear most is a powerful trigger. For example, do you know the reason why many people will not give financially to your church? It’s not because they’re selfish and don’t want to give. It’s not because they don’t believe in your church. It’s because they’re afraid. They’re afraid that they won’t have enough money at the end of the pay period to make it. They’re afraid that an emergency will emerge and they won’t have the financial ability to take care of it. Fear is the #1 de-motivator when it comes to giving in your church.
What are you talking about this Sunday? What fears are associated with that topic. If you’re talking about marriage, address the fear that spouses have with each other. “If I say this, she’ll say that and be mad.” If you’re talking about forgiving others, address the fear of having that uncomfortable talk with the one you’re forgiving.
Hope is another powerful trigger. In fact, you can often use this trigger in conjunction with the trigger of fear. After addressing the fears associated with the topic you’re speaking on, talk about the hopes that are addressed with the topic as well. Use phrases like… Can you imagine. Can you imagine a life with no financial fear? Can you imagine a marriage full of trust? Can you imagine being freed from unforgiveness? If you’re not constantly offering your people hope, they’ll become hopeless. In my experience, when people become hopeless, they begin to shut down.
This is such a huge trigger that’s often overlooked by many preachers. Insecurities haunt the best and strongest of us all. Introverts are insecure being around people they don’t know personally. When a new guy begins on the job with you and he’s knocking it out of the park each and every day, you may struggle with insecurity. A married couple having a baby for the very first time is going to experience insecurity. Parents are going to question themselves when their teens begin to rebel. I promise you, whatever topic you’re preaching on this Sunday, there are insecurities that go along with it. What are they? Address them and help your people process through them
Here’s the thing. When you begin to effectively use triggers in your message, that’s when you’ll begin to notice more and more people coming up to you after the service making comments like… It felt like you were talking directly to me! That’s all because you pulled a trigger in that person’s life at the precise moment that it needed to be pulled.