Christ Centered Preaching

Christ Centered Preaching

If you want to read a great book on biblical preaching, then you should consider Christ-Centered Preaching by Bryan Chappell.

What is a Sermon?

In chapter two, Bryan Chappell defines what is a sermon. He points out that a sermon is not a series of statements. A sermon must possess unity, purpose and application.

Unity means the sermon is about one thing. It has one theme and one unifying concept. The preacher should be able to define his message in one sentence.

The unity of the sermons can be summed up by the following maxim: The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

Purpose is all about The Fallen Condition Focus (FCF). The FCF refers to the connection between original hearers and contemporary hearers.

To discover the FCF, preachers need to examine the text in question: what does the text say, what concerns does the text address and how does this apply to the original hearers and contemporary hearers?

Application is not about more information but transformation. What does this text say to me today? What must I do to live out this text today in my life? Application is transformation. We are not simply ministers of information but ministers of Christ's transformation.

How to Prepare a Sermon?

In chapter five, Bryan Chappell defines the path of preparation for a sermon.

First, he looks at three questions that relate to the preacher's research of the meaning of the text in question.

  • What does the text mean?
  • How do I know what the text means?
  • What concerns caused the text to be written?

The first three questions are about the preacher doing enough research in order to understand the scope and the particulars of the text.

Second, he looks at three questions that determine how the preacher will relate the text's meaning to original and contempory hearers.

  • What do we share in common with those original writers and hearers?
  • How should people now respoind to the truths of the text?
  • What is the most effective way I can communicate the meaning of the text?

Ministers answer ctirtical questions that define the path of explanation by following four steps in their sermon preparation.

  • Observe - read it, listen to it, absorb it, wrestle with it, digest it, immerse in it and pray over it
  • Interrogate - what does it say, how does it fit together and where does it fit?
  • Relate - how does this information impact the congregation?
  • Organize - what is the sequence and order of this information?

Preview 16 Preaching Sermons From Philippians by clicking on Preaching Sermons.

How To Outline and Structure the Sermon

Once you have worked the text, you will need to create the sermon outline and structure. Chappell states that a well-planned sermon begins with a good outline - a good outline serves a simply purpose, it keeps listeners and the speaker oriented throughout the message.

Chappell points out several general sermon outline features:

  • Unity - Good outlines display unity - the outline simply expands and explains what the sermon is about
  • Brevity - State points as concisely as possible - concise points and sub-points are easy to remember
  • Harmony - Main points should echo one another - this will take time
  • Symmetry - Each main point and its supporting features should occupy an identical proportion of the message
  • Progression - Good outlines flow naturally - they move forward
  • Distinction - Each point must be distinctive - this avoids repetition
  • Culmination - Points lead toward a climax when there is sequence to them

Chappell also points out several specific sermon outline features:

  • The Propostion - sermons are built on propositions - what the sermon is about
  • The Main Points - the main points expand and explain the proposition or what the sermon is about
  • The Sub Points - the subpoints expand, explain and support the main points
  • The Introduction and Conclusion - The introduction introduces the proposition and the conclusion reiterates the proposition

When you become skilled in the science and art of sermon outlining, you will find this process much easier. It does take time, so stick with it for the rewards are great.

How to Preach the Sermon

There are several components to a sermon. However, one important component is getting the message across - this is related to preaching the sermon.

A balanced approach to preaching a sermon involves:

  • Explanation - explaining the text
  • Illustration - illustrating the text
  • Application - applying the text

A good illustration can help people understand what the text is saying to them. When it comes to discipline, I also remember this quote. Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing. Just this short quote illustrated to me the need for discipline in my Christian life if I wanted to grow in the Lord.

Preview 16 Preaching Sermons From Philippians by clicking on Preaching Sermons.

There is so much more to learn from Bryan Chappell. If you want to learn how to create powerful sermons, then you need to read Christ Centered Preaching. Check it out - Christ-Centered Preaching.

Related Resources and Tips

16 Sermons From Philippians