These are all important factors. But not the most important.
When we are giving a presentation / message / talk it's important to establish and then relentlessly communicate one compelling big idea. All the other ideas we share should flow out of that one. When teaching a paragraph from the Bible, we have to study the passage so thoroughly that we discover what the one big idea was for the original audience. Then we are ready to teach the idea - the truth - to our people.
Why is this so important?
1. The big idea makes us relevant.
Once we discover the big idea we can communicate it in a compelling way that actually connects with our audience. We must seek to understand and care about the hurts, fears, and hopes of our listeners. Once that happens, them we can "marry" the big idea to the real needs of our people.
2. The big idea keeps us focused.
If we don't uncover and communicate the one big idea, then we will simply be stringing together a bunch of unrelated, rambling comments about the text. And we will doing a real injustice to the Spirit's inspiration through the author of the text. Scripture doesn't violate the principles of literary structure. Paragraphs in good literature have a subject and a complement - one big idea. There were not two or more big ideas in a paragraph for the original audience and there are not two or more big ideas in a paragraph now.
3. The big idea helps us study.
Once we know the big idea, we can find content, illustrations, applications, and supporting texts that truly support the one point we are seeking to make. Identifying the big idea will make it easier to eliminate the material we will inevitably find that won't help us make the point.
4. The big idea gives us passion.
Once we know the big idea and connect it to the needs (felt or unfelt) of the audience, our passion will grow. We will care. We will clearly see that what we are saying matters to the people in the room. Scattered, rambling communication lessens passion. Focused, pointed communication increases zeal.
We want to hit the hearts of people with a sniper-like rifle shot of truth, not the scattered buckshot approach of a running homily method of communicating.
Finding the big idea and connecting it to the people in relevant ways is sometimes easy but often tough for me. I need the prayers of God's people to communicate God's word in clear, practical, and relevant ways. Please pray for me and for anyone you know who seeks to communicate God's truth.
Question: Apart from gaining the anointing and filling of God's Spirit, what do you think is the most difficult task in communicating?