How To Write A 3 Point Sermon? The 3 point sermon is about packaging the message for delivery. It provides a structure for the message with a natural flow. It guides both preacher and audience through the theme of the message.
How To Write A 3 Point Sermon
The 3 point sermon is one way to frame biblical information for delivery. It does not negate the study of the text.
There are different ways to garner information from the biblical text. Some preachers diagram the biblical text from the original language. Other preachers block diagram the biblical text in English. This is often called the mechanical layout of the biblical text. This is all about the study of the biblical text so that you can organise the thought patterns with the biblical text.
Once preachers have studied the biblical text, they begin to form the information into headings. This is not the 3 point sermon outline. This is simply arranging information into thought patterns.
I do all this free hand on an A4 piece of paper. I diagram the original text for it helps me understand the thought patterns of the biblical text. Then I put those thought patterns on the A4 piece of paper. Once I have completed this process, I begin to frame the 3 point sermon.
Before I write a sermon, I keep in mind that the sermon has three parts – the introduction, the body and the conclusion.
The introduction introduces the subject of the sermon or the big idea of the sermon or the topic of the sermon. The body of the sermon is the sermon outline. The body expands and explains the sermon outline. The conclusion concludes the sermon with specific application and action.
I never write the sermon until I have completed the sermon outline. In this case, I am referring to the 3 point sermon outline.
The Sermon Example
I want to give an example of a 3 point sermon that I wrote many years ago from 2 Timothy 3:16-17. This passage is a perfect example of a 3 point sermon.
There are three REASONS why we need to embrace the power of God’s word. They are:
- God’s word is inspired (3:16a)
- God’s word is profitable (3:16b)
- God’s word is dependable (3:17)
I will use this sermon outline to explain the 3 point sermon outline.
The Sermon Outline
The 3 point sermon outline is the package to deliver the sermon to the audience. It is the roadmap that the preacher follows to deliver the message.
The sermon outline has three parts – the main preaching point, the sub-points and incidental points and the key word or hinge word.
1. The Main Preaching Point
Every sermon has a main preaching point, subject, topic or main idea. It may not always be clear but every sermon has a point.
The sermon outline encourages the preacher to form the main preaching point, subject, topic or main idea of the sermon.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 is about the God’s word. To me this biblical text demonstrates the power of God’s word. Therefore I formed the main preaching point around “embracing the power of God’s word.”
2. The Sub-points and Incidental Points
Once I formed the main preaching point, I asked the how, when, where, what and why questions of the preaching point. It was the why question that best suited the main preaching point. “Why should we embrace the power of God’s word?”
The answer becomes the 3 point sermon. We embrace the power of God’s word because God’s word is inspired, God’s word is profitable and God’s word is dependable.
Furthermore, the main preaching point and the three sub-points explain the biblical text.
Sometimes, you will need to add incidental points. Incidental points simply expand and explain the sub-points.
For example, the second sub-point has two incidental points. The reason God’s word is profitable is because it establishes a right belief and it establishes a right behaviour.
Below is my full 3 point sermon outline of 2 Timothy 3:16-17. How to write a 3 point sermon should be a priority for all preachers!
There are three REASONS to embrace the power of God’s word.
- God’s word is inspired (2 Timothy 3:16a)
- It pierces the heart (Acts 2:37)
- It reveals the heart (Hebrews 4:12)
- It establishes a right belief
- It establishes a right behaviour
- It brings you to maturity (2 Timothy 3:17a)
- It equips you for ministry (2 Timothy 3:17b)
3. Key Word or Hinge Word
The key word or hinge word is the word that swings the sub-points from the main preaching point. It must be a plural noun.
In the 3 point sermon above, I used the key word or hinge word “reasons.” This allows the 3 point sermon outline to have a natural flow.
The first reason to embrace the power of God’s word is because God’s word is inspired. The second reason to embrace the power of God’s word is because God’s word is profitable. The third reason to embrace the power of God’s word is because God’s word is dependable.
This 3 point sermon outline has parallel sub-points and it has symmetry. Also this 3 point sermon outline is very easy to preach.
The Sermon Completed
Once the 3 point sermon outline is completed, you will need to add sermon content to the sermon outline with appropriate illustrations.
Once you grasp these concepts, you will know how to write a 3 point sermon with ease.
Resources For How To Write A 3 Point Sermon
Bryan Chapell, Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon
Charles W. Koller, How To Preach Without Notes
James Braga, How To Prepare Bible Messages
Haddon W. Robinson, Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages
Steven D. Mathweson, The Art of Preaching Old Testament Narrative
Haddon W. Robinson, Making a Difference in Preaching
David Buttrick, Homiletic: Moves and Structures
Eugene L. Lowery, The Sermon: Dancing the Edge of Mystery
Eugene L. Lowery, The Homiletical Plot: The Sermon as Narrative Art Form