The Beauty of a Great Message
When I hear a message that inspires me, fills me with hope and encouragement, gives me new ideas for my life, I love it! When I stand to speak to a group of people I feel a huge responsibility. The group gives their time and ideally their heart, to hear what I have to say. Therefore, I want to deliver. I want to share in a genuine way and share something that I know works from my own life experience. This task can present quite a challenge. I have found a sermon outline template that helps a lot and can be used when sharing any message or lesson. As a result, I’d like to share that with you.
I learned public speaking from my mentor, Jack Frost, who truly mastered the art. I participated in Toastmasters for several years and even won a local contest. These things helped, however, this sermon outline I found years ago, has helped me the most. So, from here on, let’s consider the simple steps of this outline.
1. Define A Problem
Step one of this outline involves describing well the problem you will address. Anything you ever share will involve overcoming some problem. Therefore, the better you describe the problem the more people will tune in to where you will go in the message. Moreover, they will feel you understand the challenges they face. You start to connect with people here, empathize with them, create resonance. People come into identification and feel your topic’s relevance to their lives. For example, in one message, I share story after story of people who burned out in ministry trying to work hard enough for God’s approval. I give a clear picture of how people come to struggle with this.
I’ll continue this example in the next steps to give you a sense of how this works. Next, we’ll consider the step that reveals your heart to people rather than simply head knowledge.
2. Me Too
The second step of the sermon outline shares my own story of struggle. Jack Frost called this “Transparent Witnessing”: sharing openly, vulnerably, from your own life. If I claim to have the expertise to speak on a given topic, I should have the ability to tell why, from my own life. This makes me real to people and creates emotional connection.
Continuing with my example: “I also struggled working hard for God so that He would accept me and not cast me aside.” I share my story of burnout in ministry and specific stories of how that hurt my family. Sharing your heart connects people to you. Consequently, the next step moves them to a journey in their own hearts.
3. My Story of Finding an Answer
In step three, I share not just my struggle and problem, but what I did to overcome it.
- Where did I seek answers?
- What steps did I discover?
- What happened as I sought to apply those steps?
This takes people on a journey with you and speaks to them about their own lives.
So, in my example, “I sought mentors who had freedom over ministry burnout. I went deep receiving Prayer Ministry and learning to minister Prayer Ministry to others. This brought much healing from the fear of not measuring up to God’s approval.” I don’t simply share these facts, I tell the stories of how they occurred. At this point you want to share the good fruit that came from taking your steps.
For step four of your outline, share how the steps you took helped. For example, “I no longer fear God’s upset with me and that I have work hard enough to please Him. Now I have found freedom from condemnation. My relationship with my family is loving. I no longer place the demands of performance on them that I had placed on myself. We enjoy each other.” Again, share actual stories of how this happened. This encourages people to take their own steps toward freedom. Finally, let’s consider one more important step.
5. A Call to Action
The final step gives a call to action. Maybe you call people to a prayer time of repentance and forgiveness and speaking God’s love over them. You might invite people to buy a book you wrote. Maybe to become involved in a program you offer. People want to change their lives and appreciate clarity on what to do. In conclusion, I’ll give you an easy way to remember all of this.
The 30-30-30 Model of Public Speaking
To quickly remember this outline think of it as 30-30-30.
In other words:
What it was like – What happened – What it’s like today. (The “Problem” – “Finding an Answer” – “Results.”)
I’ve found that good public speaking takes hard work. Many people have spoken in public for years and yet experience mediocre results. I believe we owe it to our audiences to give it our best. I hope this post will help you on your journey.