SERMONS, OUTLINES, ILLUSTRATIONS, AND PREACHING IDEAS

6 Steps on How to Write a Sermon

by Cory Mansfield, SermonSearch Brand Manager
 
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to how to write a sermon. Everyone has their own method, but there are definitely certain steps that a lot of pastors commonly use that may help as you develop a system that works best for you. Here are 6 tips to help you develop your own process of sermon writing.
 

1. Pray without Ceasing

This is not a one and done item on your to-do list; this is an ongoing task that keeps you communicating with the God of the universe. Why in the world would we not do this? It’s not even the right mindset to think that asking God for guidance is enough. When we write sermons, we need them to be saturated with God and with the glory of Jesus. Our minds and hearts need to be saturated with the Godhead. Pray throughout this entire process. Charles Spurgeon would even repeat the phrase, “I believe in the Holy Spirit” with every step he took as he ascended to the pulpit.
 

2. Like a Broken Record, Read the Text Over & Over Again

Don’t stop poring over the text as you lead up to preparing your sermons. Have you heard those words in Hebrews lately that says the Word of God is living and active? Do you remember the words Paul spoke to Timothy that ALL of Scripture is God-breathed and is useful? You need the living Word of God more than you need the culture. Yes, relevance and application is key, but do not focus so much on relating and being hip and cool that you miss the living, active Word of God.
 

3. Study Like It’s Finals Week

You have many options of what you can study as it relates to your sermon text, so you have to be disciplined when deciding what you are going to take the time to study. Once you’ve pored over the text like a broken record, it’s time to dig in and study the passage. I would recommend the following as key tools to use in your study for every sermon you prepare:
 
- Commentaries like the ones found on BibleStudyTools.com
- Language Tools
- Research how other respected pastors have preached on the same passage at SermonSearch.com
 
All three of these have one thing in common: they are tools. You don’t preach from commentaries. You don’t preach from the language tools. And you don’t preach from other people’s sermons. You use them all as resources to help you craft your own message that is appropriate to your congregation.
 

4. Empty Your Brain onto Paper

This is the time to write down all your thoughts. No direction you take is wrong, and this isn't a draft of your sermon. Just get your thoughts down on paper. Brainstorm the passage. Where is Christ revealed? How is Christ glorified in this passage? How does the passage point to an all-glorious God?
 

5. Focus in Like a Laser

Now that you have all your thoughts out (and you’re still praying, remember?), it’s time to laser in on what you feel God wants to say through you. Come up with your thesis statement that will help shape and guide the rest of your sermon prep. Remember, if you can’t say the point of your message in a single sentence, you may be trying to preach on too much content. If you wanted to preach on Matthew 4, I don’t quite know how you could boil that chapter down to a single sentence because it's a complex passage of scripture. At a minimum, I see that Matthew 4 could be divided up into four sermons. So, be a laser and focus in.
 

6. Write. Write. Write.

Now that you have your thoughts on paper and you’ve focused in on the main point of the sermon, it’s time to write. I don't recommend even starting with the introduction. Figure out the points you want to make in your message and start there. Once the body is complete, then go back and work on the intro and the conclusion.
 

So the 6 steps to crafting a sermon are:

1. Pray without Ceasing

2. Like a Broken Record, Read the Text Over & Over Again

3. Study Like It’s Finals Week

4. Empty Your Brain onto Paper

5. Focus in Like a Laser

6. Write. Write. Write.

 
These steps are not by any means a formula, but they form a starting ground to build on. Above all, enjoy God in this process. Enjoy getting to know Him and His Word on a much deeper level. So, what are you waiting for? Get to writing!
 
Posted in Preaching