In the last post I reviewed Andy Stanley's take on effective preaching in his new book, "Communicating for a Change." What I like best is his audience-focused, Me-We-God-You-We outline that clears the way for genuine communication with an audience.
After plowing through the book, I tried his suggested one point message outline this past weekend in a message titled, "Your Work Matters To God." Here goes:
ME--Orientation to the message topic, or what information does the congregation need to know?
During high school and college, I once had a job I loved, but then had to take a boring job I didn't like.
WE--Identification with audience, or what's the motivation for the listeners knowing this?
All of us have struggles with our jobs (Here I addressed the problems faced by high school students, self-employed farmers, construction workers, and retirees)
transition: God cares about our work because His Word tackles one of the most difficult work situations you could imagine--slavery
GOD--Illumination, or looking at what the Bible says on the topic
Exposition of Colossians 3:22-4:1. Brief elaboration of slavery in Roman culture and role Scripture plays in eventually ending slavery in our age. Observation from text: While workers struggle with animosity toward their bosses, laziness, and proper motivation, God calls believers to serve Him while working.
Summary point: How you serve at your job is a reflection of the God you serve.
YOU--Application, or what the listener needs to do with God's Word
Make your work an act of worship (Here is the one point of the one point message)
WE--Inspiration, or why the listener needs to apply God's Word
What would it look like if every person in this room went out and worshipped God while they worked. How might your attitude be different? How might your interaction with others be different?
(This is the one part of Stanley's outline where I really learned something new. This is a time for vision casting--what the application would look like if everyone in the church did it)
In closing, I reviewed the life of Willy Lohman, an aging, desperate, "has been" salesmen from Arthur Miller's play, "Death of a Salesman." Point: Worshipping God at work doesn't automatically take away your problems, but it gives you the opportunity to see God work through your problems.
So I preached the message, recorded it, and listened to it earlier this week. And?
I have a ways to go!