Many pastors who have a passion to teach the Word of God understand the power of multisensory teaching. That’s why they use it. As pastors, our calling is to teach. Needless to say, effective teaching necessitates effective communication. Stated another way: Great teachers are great communicators.
Pastor-teachers who employee multisensory communication do so not to be trendy, but to be more effective. They understand that the people in their congregation have different styles in which they prefer to learn, and they understand one style of teaching does not fit everyone in their congregation. In order to connect to all the audience as opposed to only a portion of it, they teach in a multisensory form.
Conferences on how to use multisensory communication as a means of elevating teaching impact are becoming widespread. Below are two of the more prominent biblical multisensory teachers who have blazed the trail.
Andy Stanley. Andy Stanley began North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, in 1995. Prior to this, he had served as Youth Pastor at First Baptist Church of Atlanta, where his father, Charles Stanley, serves as senior pastor. As a youth pastor, Andy was given the latitude to use many techniques to communicate to his youth. He effectively used visual aids and interactive methodologies in his teaching.
Many view such strategies as acceptable for youth, but they see them as unacceptable for teaching in an adult context, especially in worship. Stanley decided to break with that traditional view and use the same multisensory teaching he had employed as a youth pastor in his new start at North Point Community Church. Consequently, Andy’s personal style of communication and his passion to make it captivating, clear, and memorable have resulted in the church’s explosive growth.
It seems odd that some think it is legitimate to use such teaching techniques with children and youth, but consider it illegitimate to bring such creativity into the adult context. Reg Grant of Dallas Theological Seminary writes, “Young children rely on anything that helps them communicate their ideas—stories, anecdotes, sticks, rocks—whatever lies at hand. As adults, now, we regard those natural elements of persuasion as foreign matter, alien fragments of a world before formal education. What happened?”
Rick Blackwood, The Power of Multi-Sensory Preaching and Teaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2008), 31–32.