This topic is adapted from the PursueGOD Video YouTube channel.

Keep the Big Picture in Mind

Make sure that whatever you say in the message tracks with the sermon’s “big idea”, reflects its purpose, and speaks to the target audience you have in mind. Sometimes the harder task is not to decide what to say, but what not to say.

Ask Four Key Questions

Assuming that you have studied the biblical passages and the outline, answer these basic questions for each point in the sermon outline. This will help you decide what to say and what not to say.

  • What do I need to explain?
  • What do I need to prove?
  • What do I need to apply?
  • What do I need to illustrate?

You will have to prioritize. You don’t have time to say everything that could be said. Again, the big idea, the purpose, and the target audience will help you determine what you need to explain or prove, and what applications make sense.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. What will happen to a message if the teacher doesn’t relate everything to the “big idea”?
  4. What are the kinds of things you might need to explain in a message?
  5. Why should a teacher ask the question, “What do I need to prove?”
  6. How do you decide what to explain and/or prove, and what to leave alone?
  7. What is the effect if a message has too many points of application?  Too few?
  8. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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