An Audience’s Three Places . . . .

into in out of

In a message by Tony Evans — “The Purpose of Pain” — Part 1 —  Evans makes an interesting statement which lays out a concept which may be useful when working with other passages.

As Dick Vibert (author of “Excellence in Preaching”) says . . . .

The third thing preachers need to learn is what motivated the writing of “Excellence in Preaching,” namely that we learn much from preaching by listening to good preachers.  Apart from the obvious fact that preachers need to hear God’s word explained and applied for their own spiritual health, the language of mentoring and modeling is important here.  My prayer and hope is that good preachers will notice and appreciate the things good preachers do: not to mimic but rather to observe and learn.

This simple three-fold pattern may provide a basic template that proves useful when working on a message or a point within a message.

We have probably heard something like this, or even used it already ourselves.  However, constantly identifying various rhetorical helps and/or reminding our minds about such approaches, helps increase one’s repertoire of rhetorical options.  It is the conscious use of various rhetorical techniques which develops a speaker-preacher.

The wording or concept is not uncommon or exclusive, but it may not be a purposeful mental consideration at any particular time during sermon preparation or even at an impromptu speaking occasion.


(Audio Clip @ 2:30 mark of original message)

All is well,  God is good all the time — All the time, God is good — and while it would be a true statement — because after all — We’re Christians — and that is what we’re supposed to say — and maybe you just came out of itmaybe your in it, or maybe you’re headed towards it.  But the reality is there is affliction.



These three categories . . . .

  • coming out of
  • in it
  • headed into

. . . . can help generate content to clarify, explain, describe, or expand a point you are making in a message which has nothing to do with what Tony Evans was addressing.


When attempting to connect an audience with what a passage is addressing, this three-fold “template” can be used.

“You may not be in it today, but you do not know that you are headed to this place, situation, storm, difficulty, problem.”

“You just came out of this kind of situation in life and you can identify with what this passage is teaching, or you wished you knew what this passage taught when you were in it at the time.

“You are in this situation today and this passage is just what you need right now in your life to help provide another possible help in dealing with it.”

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