Teaching Tip 350 | “Plain Speaking – Having a goal” | Malcolm Cox

Here is your 2-minute tip based on chapter 2 of the book, “Plain speaking: How to preach and teach effectively” by David Bercot.

  • Every meaningful activity has a goal. The nature of the goal will vary, but the goal will be clear to those involved. Bercot uses the illustrations of playing volleyball and building a house. There is no point gathering to play or build without a goal in mind.
  • Is this applicable to speaking in church? Yes, because God’s word is ‘alive and active’ — it does things. Our hope in speaking about God is surely to be effective (Acts 14.1).
  • No, we are not reducing preaching to a formula, but we are recognising that a lesson aimed at nothing is sure to hit it.

Let me illustrate with a personal example. At the time of recording I am preparing a lesson on Abraham. It is part of the “A New Thing” series (Isaiah 43). The topic is “A New Thing”, the character used to illustrate God doing a new thing is Abraham, the goal is to help my listeners learn from the faith of Abraham as he embraced God doing a new thing in him with the hope that they will embrace whatever new thing God has in mind for them. The lesson content will be shaped by the theme, therefore I will be focussed on the instances of ‘new things’ in Abraham’s life, such as his departure from Harran (Genesis 12:5).

How do you feel about discerning a goal for your lesson?
What helps you to discover a goal for a lesson?

Has today’s tip been worth two minutes of your time? I hope so.

Next week: building your sermon

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Remember to keep calm, and carry on teaching.

God bless, Malcolm