Every time I teach or preach, I structure my notes around four movements: Hook – Book – Look – Took. I learned this in my studies when receiving my Christian Education degree in college. It has been incredibly valuable for me.
HOOK – what is the thing that will “hook” the audience in to have them interested in the teaching (could be a captivating story, a gripping question, a movie clip, interaction, a provocative statement, etc). This answers the “so what?” and “why should I listen to you as a teacher?” questions in the first few minutes. Howard Hendricks once said when teaching it is best to “take off like a rocket and land like a plane.”
BOOK – we open the Scriptures and read the passage together (usually the transition from HOOK to BOOK can be identified when the teacher says something like, “Let’s open our Bibles to _____ and read _____” This answers the “what does Scripture have to say?” question.
LOOK – we explain and expound upon the text helping to clarify what it says and helping people understand it in a way that relates to them in their particular context. This answers the “what is going on in the passage?” question.
TOOK – this is the take away (but Hook Book Look Take doesn’t quite have the same ring to it…) It answer the “now what to do I do now?” question. It gives specific next steps of how to flesh this out into the week ahead by helping people know how to respond faithfully to what has been heard.
The goal is to be clear in explaining the powerful truths of Scripture. As another preacher once said, “If it’s a mist in the pulpit, it will be a fog in the pew.” Teachers, our job is to be clear and focused in our message. It’s vitality important that we teach Scripture faithfully and clearly because the stakes are high.
Here is how I visualize the process: