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How To C.R.A.F.T. A Message

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C – collect & categorize

  • Eccl. 12:9 (NLT) Because the Teacher was wise … He collected proverbs and classified them.
  • Collect Bible verses, quotes, articles, books, sermon tapes, illustrations, etc. – even years in advance!
  • Categorize them in a filing system – put something away each day

R – research & reflect

  • Eccl. 12: 9 (NASB) The Preacher … pondered and searched out …
  • Research is studying with my mind; reflection is listening with my heart (meditation).

A – apply & arrange

  • Eccl. 12:11 (NLT) A wise teacher’s words spur students to action and emphasize important truths.
  • Each sermon should answer three important questions:

                    o What?
                    o So what?
                    o Now what?

  • Arrange your sermon in an outline:
  1. Keep it SIMPLE.
    Haddon Robinson: “Television has destroyed linear thinking”
  2. Get to the point QUICKLY.
  3. Make sure your points follow a logical PROGRESSION.
  4. Arrange your points to end with IMPACT.
    “Your lesson must have movement to move people”
  5. Arrange your points to use TENSION and RELEASE.
    “Use humor, use emotion, use up and down”
  6. Use a variety of teaching METHODS.
    “People forget 90% of what they hear within 72 hours”

F – fashion & flavor

  • Eccl. 12:10 (NASB) The Preacher sought to find delightful words …
    • What is the most practical way to say it?
    • What is the most positive way to say it?
    • What is the most personal way to say it?
    • What is the most interesting way to say it?

Illustrations are windows that let the light in!

  • Matthew 13:34 (NLT) Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, he never spoke to them without using such parables.
  • “If you think the gathering of biblical facts and standing up with a Bible in your hand will automatically equip you to communicate well, you are deeply mistaken. It will not. YOU MUST WORK AT BEING INTERESTING. Boredom is a gross violation, being dull is a grave offense, and irrelevance is a disgrace to the Gospel. Too often these three crimes go unpunished and we preachers are the criminals.”

      •   Flavor your lesson with illustrations and quotes, humor, and special features.

T – trim & tie together

• More does not mean better! Slower does not mean deeper!

• Confinement produces power!

• Tie the parts of your lesson together to …

         o Connect with your students (relationship before response)
         o Gain attention (brevity! variety!)
         o Achieve excellence
         o Answer their question: “Why should I listen?”

• Ways to conclude a lesson:
         o Restate your main points forcefully and personally
         o Use a compelling illustration
         o Use a piercing question
         o Introduce the next lesson using suspense

  • 2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV) Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.



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