How to Write a Sermon

1. Pray About What God is Going to Show You: Preaching is not about doing anything in our own power.  It is allowing God to work through us.  We need Him and His Spirit leading us…

2. Pick a Scripture __________________________________ Make sure the section of scripture you choose is long enough to preach on and not too large.  3 to 7 verse selection is a good target to aim for. The most accurate sermons share one complete thought of the writer.  Many times, this is one paragraph in scripture. Preaching one verse out of context is not what a pastor is called to do.  We are called to find what the author is trying to say, not what we want to say through the author.

3. Research the Scripture Text: The more information you take in, the more you can share with others. The Holy Spirit turns information into Living Word. With the internet, there are unlimited resources.  The only thing you have to worry about is finding safe information. I find old commentaries are the safest option.  New writings and commentaries are full of the new world views as people try and change the gospel to what they want it to say.

Never let anyone say that you can’t use something you see someone else using.  That is the world speaking and not Christ.  A true Christian pastor is not original.  They are messengers of the King.  Therefore, we seek out any information that will help us to relay God’s Word more effectively. Watching sermons online are also another way to see how others handle the same scripture you will speak on.

4. Write an Outline of Your Sermon: Making an Outline will allow you to see how the sermon will flow and make sure that you stay on task. The outline will also break up how many paragraphs you should need to write.  You don’t have to write them in order.

A. Hook/Attention Getter – Something that grabs people’s attention and links to your message. Personal experience – Shocking Example – Topical Illustration: Search “Sermon Illustration on ______” A movie clip or skit could also lead into the sermon fulfilling this function.

B. Purpose Statement – What do you want this teaching to accomplish? In one sentence tell people what you want them to learn or what you are about to teach them.  This will also Help you stay on focus as all your points should help fulfill this purpose.

C. Read Scripture – Verses: Have Everyone open their Bibles and find the scripture.  Then read the passage with passion and inflection.

D. Main Points – Here is where you give the information from the Word.

1a. Context – Let everyone know what is going on.  Someone wrote this.  Why?  What happened just before?

2b. Define any words that have special meaning or words that have been changed. “Grace, Forgiveness, etc…”

3c. Describe any phrase or cultural things that Americans may not understand?

4d. Primary Teaching – What does each verse tell us about God and His Nature?

E. Application – How Does this effect People’s lives? Here is where we take the information we just learned about and apply it to our lives.  This is where logic shifts into spiritual transformation.  It is where the Holy Spirit tugs on people’s hearts.

1a. Provide Examples – If for forgiveness, talk about marriage, family, broken friendships, and enemies.

2b. Apply the concept we learned to real life situations.

3c. Show before/after situations like personal testimonies. Share personal struggles and overcoming.

F. Conclusion – Summarize Sermon, Tie in hook. How will people remember what you taught today?  Tie the lesson to an object or illustration.  This will help people recall the message.  For example, lets say I use a “hook” about fishing, then I link my points of evangelism to different types of fishing equipment for my main points.  Now in my conclusion, I would tie in fishing as I wrap up what I want them to learn.

The conclusion is about reinforcing or summarizing the important things you want them to take away.

G. Pray – Pray for the Holy Spirit to come and change our hearts. Repeat the main points once again or even the examples as you seek them to take place in those who hear.  And thank God for who He is.

5. Write Your Sermon Out – Use your outline to write.  This will help new preachers fill time.  Without it, most young teachers would have a 3-minute sermon. Sometimes it is easier to start with your main points.  The rest will fall into place.

6. Print Your Sermon – Have someone edit your sermon to see if anything needs changing.  Then Print…

7. Practice Giving Your Sermon – The more you practice reading your sermon out loud, the more effective it will be.