Home Pastors Articles for Pastors A Guide to Effective Preaching – Introduction. Explanation. Application.

A Guide to Effective Preaching – Introduction. Explanation. Application.

6. Under the “EXPLANATION” section, copy and paste your scripture in its entirety, then highlight three nuggets in that passage you want to teach them.

The EXPLANATION is the part where you EXPLAIN what the Bible is saying.

You just spent 10 minutes introducing the topic of getting uncomfortable, now tell me about the ways Paul got uncomfortable.

Read the passage in its entirety, then tell them you want to point out three things about that passage (that they couldn’t pick up on their own).

You only get 10 minutes for this section, so get after it. Don’t waste time.

  • Tell them about how Jews were grossed out by non-kosher food, and this was Paul’s upbringing, but he was willing to be uncomfortable to reach Greeks. Pull out key phrases that illustrate this. Make me FEEL how uncomfortable Paul FELT.
  • Tell them about how second temple Judaism “orthodoxy” revolved around clear boundaries that marked who was “in and out.” Tell them about the social pressure Paul would have felt to stay away from Greeks. Dig into the historical background and maybe quote Hillel or another rabbi at this time talking smack about Jews who didn’t stay holy in this regard. Dig into the background of the word “ethne” in Greek. How that’s the word Jesus used in the Great Commission. How this is who Jesus wanted us to reach.
  • Most important, I would tell you if you were sitting next to me, if you skip over what Paul meant by “save some” and the reality of hell without the gospel, you miss the whole point of the passage. This was what was driving Paul. THIS was why he was willing to get uncomfortable.

Don’t waste time on inconsequential background material or Greek words that don’t add value. I remember hearing a preacher say, “In the original Greek, the word ‘to sleep’ means ‘to close your eyes and go to sleep.’”

Dude. Seriously. If you do that, here comes that pencil.

Teach this section as if you are teaching it to your small group leaders who are going on a mission trip afterward to a severely persecuted area of Myanmar and they will have to teach new believers what you’re teaching them.

Teach stuff that matters, that you can’t wait to point out, and most of all show the lengths to which Paul was willing to be uncomfortable.

Hold off on the illustrations in this section unless they can be told in less than 30 seconds.

And MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING ELSE, teach them DEEP CONTENT in 10 minutes or less. Not a minute more.

Get in, attack it with a vengeance, then get out, in 10 minutes.

As Howard Hendricks used to say, “Leave them longing, not loathing.”

7. In the “APPLICATION” section tell your people HOW to do what you just showed them that Paul did in the first century.

You spent 10 minutes INTRODUCING the topic of getting uncomfortable, then spent another 10 minutes EXPLAINING the different ways Paul got uncomfortable, now you need to take 10 minutes APPLYING this to their lives and showing them how to be uncomfortable.