Andy Stanley is a master communicator with a unique gift to take any concept and make it seem so obvious. I’ve listened to a countless number of his sermons, and they always have a unique twist to them.
Partly this is due to him having incredible talent, but it’s also due to him asking the right questions. These questions come from one of his leadership podcast sessions from several years ago.
A) What do they need to know? (Information)
- What is the simple idea?
- What is the one thing they need to know?
- What one statement summarizes the message?
- If someone only remembered one part of your message, what would you want it to be?
B) Why do they need to know it? (Motivation)
- This is the key to developing tension in the introduction.
- Give them a reason to listen.
- Why should they care?
- Make them beg for the answer to the question you’re raising.
- Show how society has gone wrong. The passage you preach will give God’s answer to societies problems.
- If they aren’t convinced they need to know, they will consider what you have to say irrelevant.
C) What do they need to do? (Application)
- Always give them something specific they should do because of the message.
- Assign homework whenever applicable.
- Ask yourself: “What can we do to help them do it?”
- Giving people a very specific application makes people responsible to apply the message.
D) Why do they need to do it? (Inspiration)
- What would it look like if everyone in our church did this?
- How could this message change the listeners life?
- How could the application of this message change your city?
- How can you inspire people to act?
E) What can I do to help them remember? (Memory)
- Is there a memorable way to summarize the message?
- Every student in my ministry should be able to repeat this Andy Stanley quote, “Your direction not your intention determines your destination.” Stanley has countless quotes just like this. They summarize the message well, but they’re memorable and clear without the context of the message they come from.
- Is there something you can give them to help them remember the message? You can’t do this every week, but it can be remarkably powerful in the right message.
- Is there a way to incorporate the message into small groups or other programming?