Articulating the “One Thing”

Preparing my Next Sermon
(Photo credit: the tartanpodcast)

The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. 1 Timothy 1:5 (NLT)

Whenever I prepare to deliver a message, whether it is in a classroom, stage, boardroom, or sanctuary, I always start by identifying and articulating the one thing I want to communicate. If I can nail that, then the rest of the message become much easier to prepare. If an idea, explanation or illustration does not serve to lead the hearers to the articulated purpose of my message, then I’m wasting my time and theirs. Without a clear purpose, a message will become lost as it meanders in different directions.

In today’s chapter, Paul is instructing his young protege Timothy whom he left behind in the city of Ephesus to teach the followers of Jesus there. Paul clearly articulates the purpose of his instruction: Love from a pure heart, clear conscience, and genuine faith. As I read this I thought of all the messages I have heard through the years that seemingly had little or no clear purpose. I thought of many messages I’ve heard in which the purpose seemed to be judgement, condemnation, and shame.

I’m taking Paul’s purpose with me into my day as I think about all that I think, and say, and do. Is my purpose today an increasing measure of love in my own heart, love that flows from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a genuine faith in Jesus, the One whom I follow?

 

5 thoughts on “Articulating the “One Thing””

  1. I try–and do not always succeed–by explicitly stating the outcome(s) I want to achieve. Before I enter a meeting/rehearsal/interview, I ask myself: “when I leave the room, what do I want to have remembered by those with whom I interact?”

    1. Well said, Kevin. Stating the desired outcomes is key to clear articulation. None of us succeed 100% of the time, but to have the stated intent and to act on the desire for the outcome to match that intent will always keep us moving in the right direction. Thanks for adding to the conversation!

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