Here are some notes I made for teaching our men how to prepare a message. This is a process that I am going to have them work through and thought that you might be interested.
Preparing Expository Messages
I. Hermeneutics – interpreting the text
1. Pray for divine guidance and enlightenment confessing your inability to rightly divide the word of God apart from the Spirit of God.
2. Identify the text
3. Read the text (or book) multiple times (at least 7) to establish the context. You want to understand a conversation before you quote someone and pull their words out of context.
4. Treasure of Scripture Knowledge for every verse in the text, recording useful verses.
5. Read every commentary you can find on the text. Write down any insightful quotes. Note: if you search all historical interpretations and nobody agrees with you – you’re probably wrong.
6. Identify the main point of the passage also called a proposition or thesis sentence. Try to summarize it in a single sentence. This is the most important part of the message. Pray. Answer two questions: What is the text saying? What does it say about what it is saying?
7. Identify the main verse divisions of the text. Pray for them. Don’t worry about what the point will be; just identify how many points there will be from the text.
HALFTIME - Most sermons start right here or end right here. However, after doing this, you don’t have a message yet. This is the difference between a commentary and a sermon. You may know what the text is saying but you now have to determine how to deliver the message.
II. Homiletics – delivering and communicating the text
1. Pray for your heart to be right. Allow the message to speak to yourself first.
2. Meditation, meditation, meditation. Revolve it in your mind. Comparable to slow cooking meat in a crockpot until it is tender and falls apart. This is also essential when identifying the main divisions of the text. Flush them out like hunting Pheasants.
3. Develop your main divisions into main points. Three things you can do with the text. One is primary but all three present. Explain, Prove, and Apply.
4. Write out transitions between the main points showing how they connect to the main proposition.
5. Be transparent and tell of how God has used this truth in your life. If it hasn’t affected your life, why would you expect it to impact someone else’s? If it has impacted your life, you have received a blessing regardless of whether your audience is unmoved.
6. Illustration and your points must come from meditation, when God turns the light on. When the truth of the text is digested, you begin to see how it applies in your life, and see the principle manifest in everyday life. (Don’t just think of an illustration and then develop a text to support it.)
7. Develop an introduction. A way to take people from the cares of this life and the multitude of distractions and bring them into the text. Probably write this out word for word though you won’t necessarily read it. Just because this is important.
8. Write out (again word for word) a conclusion. Summarize BRIEFLY what the message is. Land the plane. Make the application answering the question of how this should change their life. Give them something to take home.
III. Pray for God to empower the message. .