This is one of the most effective outlines for preaching a topical sermon, taken from Andy Stanley and Lane Jones’s book, “Communication for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communication.”  They prescribe that this outline is the basic structure for any sermon and that each element should be a part of every message. I have used this structure for years in my preaching, specifically for camps, retreats, seminars, or topical messages. communicate-for-change

  1. ME (Orientation) – Introduce yourself and your topic – find common ground with your audience.
  2. WE (Identification) – Build an emotional common ground with your audience – build as many bridges emotionally as possible.
  3. GOD (Illumination) – God has a solution for us today – engage your audience with the text – Don’t just read it. Don’t explain it to death. Make it fascinating!
  4. YOU (Application) – Find one point of application everyone can embrace. Don’t ask them to make a life-altering decision. Give them a measurable or reachable goal. Encourage them to try something for a week, a day, or even a month.
  5. WE (Inspiration) – cast a vision – prompt a decision by briefly describing what would happen if this group of people would follow what has been taught. Tell them to imagine what WE could do together.



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