C – collect & categorize

  • Ecclesiastes 12:9 (NLT) Because the Teacher was wise … He collected proverbs and classified them …
  • Collect Bible verses, quotes, articles, books, sermon tapes, illustrations, etc. – even years in advance!
  • Categorize them in a filing system – put something away each day

R – research & reflect

  • Ecclesiastes 12: 9 (NASB) The Preacher … pondered and searched out …
  • Research is studying with my mind; reflection is listening with my heart (meditation).

A – apply & arrange

  • Ecclesiastes 12:11 (NLT) A wise teacher’s words spur students to action and emphasize important truths.
  • Each sermon should answer three important questions:
  •      What?
  •      So what?
  •      Now what?
  • Arrange your sermon in an outline:
  • Keep it SIMPLE.
  • Haddon Robinson: “Television has destroyed linear thinking”
  • Get to the point QUICKLY.
  • Make sure your points follow a logical PROGRESSION.
  • Arrange your points to end with IMPACT.
  • Your lesson must have movement to move people.
  • Arrange your points to use TENSION and RELEASE.
  • Use humor, use emotion, use up and down.”
  • Use a variety of teaching METHODS.
  • People forget 90% of what they hear within 72 hours.

F – fashion & flavor

  • Ecclesiastes 12:10 (NASB) The Preacher sought to find delightful words …
  • What is the most practical way to say it?
  • What is the most positive way to say it?
  • What is the most personal way to say it?
  • What is the most interesting way to say it?
  • Illustrations are windows that let the light in!
  • Matthew 13:34 (NLT) Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, he never spoke to them without using such parables.
  • “If you think the gathering of biblical facts and standing up with a Bible in your hand will automatically equip you to communicate well, you are deeply mistaken.  It will not.  YOU MUST WORK AT BEING INTERESTING. Boredom is a gross violation, being dull is a grave offense, and irrelevance is a disgrace to the Gospel.  Too often these three crimes go unpunished and we preachers are the criminals.”
  • Flavor your lesson with illustrations and quotes, humor, and special features.

T – trim & tie together

  • More does not mean better! Slower does not mean deeper!
  • Confinement produces power!
  • Tie the parts of your lesson together to …
  •      Connect with your students (relationship before response)
  •      Gain attention (brevity! variety!)
  •      Achieve excellence
  • Answer their question: “Why should I listen?”
  • Ways to conclude a lesson:
  •      Restate your main points forcefully and personally
  •      Use a compelling illustration
  •      Use a piercing question
  •      Introduce the next lesson using suspense
  • 2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV) Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.