This is from Andy Stanley’s podcast on effective communication (he’s also written a book on the subject Communicating for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communication). I’ve heard him talk on communication many times and read his book, but every time I read these simple questions I feel the need to radically change the way I construct my messages.
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.
B) Why do they need to know it? (The motivation)
- The key developing tension in the introduction
- Give them a reason to listen
- Why should they care?
- Make them beg for the answer to their question
- Show how society has gone wrong and 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)
- Assign homework
- What can we do to help them do it?
D) Why do they need to do it? (Inspiration)
- What would it look like if everyone in our church did this?
- How can you inspire people to act?
E) What can I do to help them remember? (Memory)
- What can I give them?
- Is there a memorable phrase?
- Is there a specific image which will help people remember?
- Write discussion questions for mid-week small groups
Andy Stanley’s book on preaching