Sermon Preparation Tips

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Sermon Preparation Tips will help you prepare sermons that work. That is, sermons that you can preach to your congregation that have sequence and flow.

Sermon Preparation Tips

Generally speaking, the most difficult part of sermon preparation is not the study or analysis of the text of Scripture (generally referred to as exegesis) but the presentation of the main preaching point of the text of Scripture (generally referred to as exposition).

By the way, I have never found the study and analysis of Scripture difficult; however, in my early days as a preacher, I did struggle in the presentation of the main preaching point of the Scripture. Once I developed a paradigm for presenting the main preaching point of the text of Scripture, I found that sermon preparation became a whole lot easier.

Let me say this: having a clear presentational paradigm is absolutely essential for preachers who preach week in and week out.

With all that in mind, here are some sermon preparation tips that helped me prepare sermons week in and week out.

1. All Sermons Have Three Parts

I often compare a sermon to an airplane flight. You have the take off, the flight and the landing. A sermon has an introduction (the take off), the body (the flight) and a conclusion (the landing). A great sermon has a powerful take off (introduction), an interesting flight (body) and a memorable landing (conclusion).

Let me also say that the introduction introduces the sermon, that is, the main preaching point; the body of the sermon, which is your sermon outline, expands and explains your main preaching point and the conclusion reinforces the main preaching point.

2. All Sermons Have Structure

Like it or not, sermons have structure. Sermon structure helps the preacher present the message of the text in a way that it is easy to follow and understand.

You can structure sermons deductively, inductively or a bit of both.

3. A Deductive Sermon

A deductive sermon begins with the main preaching point followed by the sub-points and incidental points.

You may want to preach a deductive sermon from James 1:13-18. The main point in this passage is: Resisting Deadly Temptation. The sub-points could be: The source of temptation, the steps in temptation and the solution to temptation. Your sermon outline could look like this:

There are three Avenues for resisting deadly temptation. They are...

  1. Know The Source of Temptation (1:13) Two facts to consider:

    1. God is not the source of temptation
    2. Temptation lies within man himself

  2. Know The Steps in Temptation (1:14-15) Three steps to note:

    1. Temptation itself
    2. Desire to sin
    3. Sin leads to death

  3. Know the Solution to Temptation (1:16-17) Three truths to grasp:

    1. Understand the deception
    2. Understand the character of God
    3. Understand the gift of God

4. An Inductive Sermon

An inductive sermon begins with the sub-points and incidental points leading to the climax of the main preaching point. Often, an inductive sermon is used to preach the narratives.

There are several ways to structure an inductive sermon. However, Lorwy's loop is an inductive paradigm that works perfectly with the narratives of Scripture.

Sermon Preparation Tips

Lowry's Loop has five stages to its layout.

  • OOPS - Upsetting the Equilibrium (Tension Introduced)
  • UGH - Analysing the Discrepancy (Tension Understood)
  • AHA - Disclosing the Clue to Resolution (Tension Resolved)
  • WHEE - Experiencing the Gospel (Tension Gone)
  • YEAH - Anticipating the Consequences

Lowry's Loop simply allows the narrative to unfold scene by scene in order to tell the story of the narrative with its main intention.

An Inductive Sermon Outline

There is a narrative in Luke 5:1-11 where a simple fishing expedition set the stage for Peter to get a glimpse of Jesus' majesty, which transformed his life forever.

The main preaching point of this narrative is that a glimpse of Jesus' majesty is life transforming. However, Peter nearly missed this opportunity because he struggled with being told what to do by Jesus.

  1. We don't always like being told what to do
  2. Peter struggled with being told what to do (Luke 5:1-5a)
  3. Nevertheless, he conceded and got a glimpse of Jesus' majesty (Luke5:5b-7)
  4. Getting a glimpse of Jesus' majesty is life transforming (Luke 5:8-11)
  5. Obeying Jesus leads to glimpses of His transforming majesty in our lives!

Notice in point 1 that the tension is introduced, in point 2 the tension is explained, in point 3 and 4 the tension is resolved and in point 5 the tension dissipates because now we see that obedience to Jesus leads to transformation.

5. Some Concluding Remarks

Once you have prepared the sermon outline, you need to add content and illustrations.

Once you have written content to the sermon outline, you will need to write an introduction and a conclusion.

In Lowry's Loop, the introduction to the inductive sermon is scene 1 and the conclusion is scene 5.


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