128 - How to Prepare a Dynamic Men’s Bible Message
|Written by Patrick Morley|
|Wednesday, December 10 2008 12:05|
Part 2 of 2
In the last issue we explored the first two steps for preparing a strong Bible message -- the starting point and preparation point of view. To review, since 1986 I have prepared a weekly message for our Man in the Mirror Men’s Bible Study here in Orlando. I’ve distilled lessons learned into a worksheet to help prepare and deliver a solid biblical message. If you teach the Bible to men, or want to, adopt or adapt this method, or use it to stimulate a method of your own. Here are the final three steps:
3. STUDY MY TEXT
First, why is this story (or text) in the Bible?
Rule #6: Why does this story move us? Probe until I find the passion in a verse. Penetrate to the point of passion. ____________________________________________
Key Words in text: ____________________________________________
What would we say is happening in today’s language (e.g., no straw but same quota = downsizing)? ____________________________________________
What is the purpose of the text? ____________________________________________
Rule #7: What is the PROBLEM this message solves? What is underlying belief PROBLEM (heart issue)? Distinguish between the presenting problem and root problem.
META-RULE: How does this text show men Christ? _____________________________________
Rule #8: The right question will produce the right message. What questions/problems does the text raise that I find puzzling or intriguing? Which of these would my listeners most want/need to have answered? Where is the tension that needs to be resolved? What is the question my men will never ask because they don’t want to sound like an idiot or heretic? What is the one question that can most focus this message? (focus = the art of exclusion).
What is the right question? ____________________________________________
Truth: What does this text Say? _______________ Mean? __________________
Proof: Is it true? Belief: Do you believe it?
Rule #9: Goal: to make true believers. Not enough that it’s true; nothing happens until he believes it’s true.
Implication : What difference does it make? What questions should we ask ourselves? Application: So what? How will you let it change your life?
(Subject, Complement, and Exegetical Idea from Biblical Preaching by Haddon Robinson) Subject: Exactly what is this biblical writer talking about?
What’s going on? ____________________________________________
Test it, go back through text, relate to details. Does subject fit the parts? Is it too broad? Too narrow? Does the subject exactly describe what the passage is talking about? Complement: What is the subject saying about what it is talking about? ______________________________________________________________________
Complete Idea : A complete statement of the main idea presented in the passage (Subj + Compl) ______________________________________________________________________
4. THINK ABOUT MY MEN
What is the PROBLEM this text solves for my men? What are the real PROBLEMS my men are struggling with that this passage addresses? ______________________________________________________________________
What is the PROBLEM I’m trying to solve? Are they the same? ______________________________________________________________________
Rule #10: Find the gravity. Where is the gravity? Why is this important? Tap into the dissonance on the topic. That is where the energy is. Show men why this matters. Why should they care? ______________________________________________________________________
Rule #11: Have something to say. What is it that God wants to say to my men from this text? (Don’t focus on what men need to do for God, but what God has done for them). ______________________________________________________________________
What does man need to know about God to better know himself? ______________________________________________________________________
5. PREPARE MY MESSAGE
Now, break the message into 3 parts and answer the following questions (actually, not “all” the questions every time, but those that make sense to answer given the text and topic).
Part 1 -- Relevance: 5 to 10 minutes
Have a good answer to the questions…
Part 2 -- Teaching: 10 to 15 minutes
Now that you have their attention (the hard part), you can solve the problem you’ve made them “feel” from your text. Questions to answer once gravity established…
Rule #18: Find the resonance. Speak like Isocrates, not Demosthenes. Try to use one metaphor per message. Tap into the dissonance men feel about the topic -- that’s where the energy is. Compare/contrast words/concepts for sharper relief. Speak with voices of reason & passion. Alternate between story and teaching in 5 minute increments. Where does emotive power come from? Tell real stories about a real God working in & on real people. Use silence. Use concrete language. Prepare this section of your message first, then flesh out Parts 1 and 3.
Part 3 -- Application: 5 to 10 minutes, but thorough
META-PURPOSE: Bring my men to see the Greatness of Jesus, then ask them how Jesus would want them to respond in their walk with Christ, family, work, church, and community.
Questions to answer to bring your message home (in addition to this whole section, pepper you message with applications too)…
Establish Relevance, deliver the Teaching, and connect the dots to their real world with grace-based Application. That’s how it’s done. Oh, and smother your message in the gospel and in grace. Help men change the core affections of their hearts. How? Bring them into the real presence of Christ. No man should leave your meeting feeling like he’s just been beat up. No man should leave feeling like he has to “do” something to make God happy, or to improve his record to be good enough.