Awhile back I read a book called, Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley. Stanley's book offers a unique strategy for teachers, pastors, and communicators seeking to deliver messages aimed at life change. Below are some questions he uses to organize his messages. He suggests making a copy of these questions and keeping them where you study as a helpful guide in your own preparation. 1. What do they need to know? INFORMATION
2. Why do they need to know it? MOTIVATION
3. What do they need to do? APPLICATION
4. Why do they need to do it? INSPIRATION
5. How can I help them remember? REITERATION
One disclaimer: Whenever you come to a text with a preconceived list like this there is the danger that you read into the text what you want it to say and neglect the natural flow and meaning of what the author is trying to convey. However, I've found that asking questions (like the ones above) can be a helpful means of making sure my teaching is aimed at changing lives not just giving information. As we communicate God's Word, we must remember to teach the whole counsel of God but not neglect to answer the questions, "So what?" and "Now what?" if we want our people to change.