3. “What will I say?” [The Message]
Once you have established your purpose and formulated an objective statement, you are ready to do your research and prepare the content of your message. Purpose first, then content and outline.
Ask yourself what the Bible say about this subject or the audience’s needs. We don’t have to make the Bible relevant. It already is! We have to show its relevance by applying it to people’s needs.
Gather information on your topic from Bible study, personal experience, and other resources (books, articles, statistics, research, or advice from other people). Think of any illustrations that could support your message. Once you’ve done your research, narrow your ideas into a few points. Be brief and concise – keep it fast paced. Eliminate what's unnecessary. Summarise key points.
Next arrange everything into a logical sequence. The basic parts of your message are: (1) the opening or introduction where you gain rapport, generate interest, and establish a need to talk about your topic; (2) the main body of your message (organised around your main objective); and (3) your close or conclusion, where you summaries and call for action and/or a response.
Work on the transitions so that you tie each part together smoothly. Each new point should begin with an overview statement and conclude with a bridging statement to lead the audience to the next point. Help move your listeners from thought to thought with you.
Also, consider the time element. How much time should you give to introduction, body (key points) and conclusion? What is most important? Allocate time according to priority.