Model for Long-Range Sermon Planning and Preparation*
edited and posted by Bob Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]
Initial Preparation PeriodIdentify a text or topic. Make a folder or way to collect information.
Begin primary reading from newspapers and news magazines. Look for the materials that relate to the text or topic: especially consider stories, applications, and statistics.
Study PeriodMake a personal inventory. Collect and list all I know about the topic.
Consider everything in my library about the topic or text (brainstorming).
What are the best resources I have available? What materials do I need to include in my study?
Finalize the specific text or topic -do exegetical work in the original language, make observations that are obvious and not so obvious, personalize the story so that I see real people with real emotions
What is eternal in the text? Avoid the temptation to deal with only the cultural or contemporary.
Find appropriate and relevant illustrations, in and out of Scripture.
Formulate the conclusions: the "take home points".
Arrangement PeriodHow should I arrange material?
Does the material lend itself to a deductive or inductive approach?
Outline the sermon in order to serve or emphasize the dominant thoughts.
Discard all other material. Everything included in the sermon must serve the dominant thought.
Develop a clearly written declarative sentence. Make it vivid, work on the verbs.
Especially focus on the use of metaphor and figures of speech
Be aware of and use linguistic programming.
Develop the body of the sermon first; then determine how to introduce it and how to conclude it.
Sharpening/Focusing PeriodCome to know the sermon well enough to eat, breathe, drink and sleep the sermon.
Be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Continue to look for applications and supporting ideas.
Preparing the Message--Planning my Personal MessageKierkegaard observed that the gospel has become a piece of information, just like the newspaper or television news.
How can this sermon lift the gospel beyond merely being another piece of information?
How should I plan a sermon or message that has already been heard? (Craddock, Overhearing the Gospel)
How should I plan a sermon for people who live in a world of sound bites? For people who want quick information?
Keep the following in mind during sermon preparation
- Nothing takes the place of God; he guides, he tells us how to preach
- Get up front assistance
- Work diligently on the notes, idea file, e-mails to myself, etc.
Preparing MyselfPersuasion of others involves persuading myself first
Oratory: the good man speaking well. Both are essential.
Consider source communication, perceptions of personal competence are important for effective communication.
The most important aspect of preaching is the credibility of the preacher with a congruent life, integrity, and truthfulness.
* The ideas presented here were developed from notes taken during a presentation by Dr. Prentice Meador.
Last updated November 25, 2010.