Making a Stale Message Fresh Again: Part 2
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 It was evident by the lack of energy, outdated examples or lack of relevant application.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!
“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?””
Amy this is so good. It’s the same way we should approach our Bibles. How often do we come upon a passage we know inside and out? So we (I, anyway) think we know what God wants us to see before we even read the words. When I’m paying attention, I’ll ask, like you did here, “Lord what do you want to show me TODAY?”
He blew me away not long ago with the familiar story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. On a day I was feeling especially overwhelmed with responsibility and so many BIG THINGS going wrong, the words “How many loaves have ye? Go and see” stood out to me. What do you have? Ok Lord, here’s what I have… and I poured out all my troubles, my lack, my feelings of inadequacy and overwhelm. I asked him to multiply. I needed him to show up and show off.
God was so PRESENT in all of it. Some of the big things are dealt with, some are well on their way, some may never be. But God is giving direction and help. And Jesus will be enough.
I believe this will translate into an impactful story that God can use in the lives of people like me who need a reminder that it’s not up to us to do the heavy lifting.
Very helpful to hear your process. Thanks for sharing, Jennifer!
Beautifully said, friend! Love it! I find that when I am sharing a message I had shared before, God has a way of igniting my heart with the same truths by showing me another layer to that truth. He is so faithful!