I’ve gotten a few requests for me to blog about my process for writing a weekend talk. My process certainly isn’t THE way to do it, but I would say it is definitely what works for me. It might not be something that fits you, the key is to find a process that helps you best prepare to communicate God’s Word to students.
Here’s what I do – would love to read yours in the comments!
Figure out the series arc. What are we trying to say in the series? Where are we trying to move students with this talk? Here’s an example from Save the Planet, a series we did that is now on Simply Youth Ministry.Invite teenagers into an epic adventure with Jesus. Check out Pierced: The New Testament today!
First draft. Everything on the whiteboard makes it into a Word document and now becomes digital. Points, passages and illustrations start to take shape. I write the talk out word for word, like a transcript. The first draft is 1,500 words.
Second draft. It’s all there in the frst draft, so the collection of thoughts and ideas needs to be honed into a discernable message. The second starts the shaping process. I’m usually fairly happy with it by this point. The second draft usally hovers at or near 2,000 words.
Send it out to a few close friends to review. I learned this one from watching Doug Fields in action – don’t create your messages in a vacuum. Let a few creative/discerning friends talk through it with you for clarity, perspective and editing.
Final draft. From this the bulletin is made and slides with verses on the screen. This is it! The final draft is around 2,000 words, and usually ends up being about a 25-minute talk.
I’ve used this process for the past year and have really loved it – share how you prepare a talk, too!