Learning how to write a sermon is sort of like learning to swim.  You can read all the instructions and commit to memory all the techniques but you will never really learn how to write sermons until you practice.  Because of this many preachers never really learn to write a sermon in a rapid, efficient manner.  This is problematic when you are a pastor who must preach two or three sermons per week.  In my ministry of thirty-five years I have developed a sermon preparation routine that you may find helpful.  By using this routine your sermon preparation takes on an organized schedule that facilitates efficient development.

The first step to writing a sermon is to determine the purpose of the sermon.  Why are you preaching on this occasion?  What do you want the people to do as a result of hearing your sermon.  Once you have this purpose in mind you have defined the boundaries of your sermon.  It is important to understand that the purpose is not the theme or the subject of the sermon.  It is the result you want to obtain because you preached the sermon.  Sermon writing goes much faster and easier if you have a definite purpose in mind.

The next step is to support your purpose with scripture.  This is sometimes a difficult step if you are not familiar with the Bible.  Every preacher should have a regular, intense, program of Bible reading and study in order to fill your mind with the scripture.  This will not only bring you closer to God but will also fertilize your brain with scriptural concepts, ideas and content.

The scripture will lead you to a subject for your sermon.  Remember that the subject is not the purpose and the purpose is definitely not the subject.  At this point your subject should not be too well defined.  Instead let it be a 'germ' of an idea.  When you write a sermon you do it with the purpose in mind, not the subject.

From the purpose and the scripture and the 'subject germ' begin brainstorming your main points.  Write down every idea you have on a scratch pad, even the dumb ideas.  When you brain is emptied of the obvious, grab a dictionary and begin to look up some key words related to your subject.  Once again jot down everything that comes to mind.

From the main points on your scratch pad select three that fit best your purpose and your subject.  Cross check to be sure they are supported by your scripture.  This is not easy at first, but with practice it will become more natural.  Remember sermon writing is like swimming. Practice will improve your performance.

After you have these three main points, select one of them to work on.  Brain storm on a scratch pad some supporting points or statements.  Select two or three to use.  Repeat with each point.

Be sure to constantly check your work against the purpose of your sermon.  Discard everything that doesn't fit your purpose.  Remember that your purpose will give power to your sermon so do not dilute your sermon with things that do not move it forward with purpose and power.

Now you to the point in the sermon writing process where you are ready to write your call to action. Because you had a purpose, you should now ask the listeners to do it.  Call on the people to take action, to do what you had in mind as you wrote the sermon.  Do not be shy.  The call to action is the part of the sermon that drives home your points and calls upon the congregation to act.  A sermon is not an entertaining speech, it is speech with purpose.

After you write your call to action go back and read through your sermon outline.  Now you want to illustrate your sermon.  Seek out places in the sermon that a good story will make clearer.  A good illustration can make or break a supporting statement.

It is only after these steps are complete that you will return and write your introduction.   You cannot write a sermon introduction until you have something to introduce.  So the introduction is written last.

After the introduction you can invent a title if so desired.  Do not title your sermon until it is complete.  To place title on a sermon effectively limits where the sermon can grow and limits your creativity.

It is not easy to learn how to preach a sermon but if you practice you can learn.  If you want to quickly learn how to preach you need to search the Internet for some practical sermon courses that can give you guidance in learning methods and techniques for sermon writing.

For more resources for creating powerful sermons go to www.calledtopreach.com

Rev. Walton Marsh is a preacher and educator and is the author of the Preaching With Power course. Thousands of preachers have found this course to be the practical, down to earth instruction they needed to transform thier preaching ministry.

Article Source: How to Write a Sermon


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