We’ve probably all been in situations when we knew a speaker was “phoning it in.” It was evident by the lack of energy, outdated examples or lack of relevant application.
We don’t want to find ourselves in that speaker’s shoes! Audiences are perceptive, so we want to always bring our best. Last week we talked about the two options we have for a stale message– retire it or refresh it.
In the next few weeks, I want to give specific steps for refreshing our messages. This week’s tip takes us straight to the source of our messages, God’s Word.
The first step I always take in refreshing an old message is to return to the focal passage on which the message is based, and I ask God to help me approach it as if I’d never seen it before. I ask Him to show me anything new that I need to learn about the passage. A couple of the tools I use as I study:
- BibleGateway is one of my go-to resources when I’m studying Scripture. I use it to:
- Read my passage in many different translations.
- Do word studies of key words in my passage.
- Read multiple commentaries so that I know what some trusted theologians have said about the passage. Their thoughts keep my theology true and often spark my creativity!
- A three-step Bible study tool to dig deeply into the passage. I use this simple but powerful tool personally and share it with all my Message Development Coaching clients. In its simplest form, the three questions are:
- What does it say?
- What does it mean?
- How do I apply this?
Once I’ve dug deeply into the treasure trove of Scripture, I pray and ask God one question, “Of all this rich information, what’s the one thing you want my audience to know?”
These are the exact steps I went through the first time I wrote the message, but I’m always astounded at how God shows me something new when I seek Him. I think about it like this: Scripture is a multi-faceted jewel. It’s consistent and beautiful all the way through, but when you hold it up to the Light, you’ll often see one of the sides that you had never seen before.
That’s the source of fresh content!
What are your favorite Bible study tools? Share some links and resources in the comments for our speaker community!