by: Pastor David Huffstutler
Fourth, if preparing to preach through the passage, turn your big idea statement into something that people can hear and get the idea of the passage right away.
Turn your outline is to something easy to hear and follow – use alliteration, key words, etc. Figure out a title for your sermon that memorably captures the big idea in just a phrase. Then make your notes in such a way as to explain the text to someone who has never heard it before. Finally, practice and time yourself. Nothing quite matches the experience of actually standing before God’s people and preaching, but practicing and preparing always helps. As Paul told Timothy with reference to Timothy’s Bible study, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 ESV).
Your fellow Christians will notice your hard work and appreciate what you have prepared for them. They are not looking for perfection, but they can see progress. So, in both understanding what you study and doing the best to live out its truth in your own life, Paul has this to say as well: “Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:15–16 ESV).
Key Books and Resources to Read to Help Someone
Teach or Preach without Seminary Training
Books of the Bible differ in how they are written. Some books are narrative and tell stories. Others are didactic and directly teach truth. Some are poetic, and others prophetic. Two books that help us know how to read through a given book and understand how that book presents God’s truth are… (1) a shorter book: How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014 and (2) a longer book: Invitation to Biblical Interpretation: Exploring the Hermeneutical Triad of History, Literature, and Theology. Andreas J. Köstenberger and Richard Patterson. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 2011.
A website that offers multiple videos for how to relate the parts of a passage together is BibleArc.com. This is John Piper’s arcing (pronounced ark-ing) system that he uses to relate words and parts of a passage together. Grammatical terms are explained and help identify the various parts of a passage and then relate them to others.