No.7, Autumn 1999
Welcome to The Shepherd's Storehouse! This edition includes more sermon outlines and a second article on the ingredients of captivating preaching. The Shepherd's Storehouse family is increasing with more than 120 pastors and leaders receiving this resource. Check the last page for some special offers only available through The Shepherd's Storehouse.
I have preached several of these outlines. Two of them are life changing, these are marked # on the far right of the page. I encourage you to send for a copy of the manuscript and/or tape. The sermon outlines follow the sermonic process of; subject, (the sermon in one word); theme, (the sermon in one phrase); proposition, (the sermon in one sentence). Each main point then needs to be explained, illustrated, and applied.
Subject Moses Theme Moses at the Burning Bush
Proposition What are three key truths from this incident ?
Subject Jesus Theme The Ministry of Jesus
Proposition What are truths about the healing ministry of Jesus ?
Subject Jesus Theme Jesus and the Canaanite Woman
Proposition What Keys can we Learn from this Incident ?
Subject God Theme God's Forgiveness
Proposition How Does God Forgive ?
Subject Forgiveness Theme Truths about Forgiveness
Proposition Three Truths about Forgiveness
Subject Jesus Theme Identifying the Real Jesus
Proposition How to Identify the Real Jesus "Who is This ?" (21:10)
Subject Christian Living Theme Wise Christian Living
Proposition What are Three Ways for Christians to Live in Wisdom ?
[The Parables of the Servants (Matt.24:45-51), Virgins (25:1-13), Talents (25:14-30) and Sheep & Goats (25:31-46) follow very similar patterns. The foolish do not believe the Master will return, they have no fear of judgment, and no sense of His soon return. By reversing these statements, we can live in wisdom.]We Can Win the World Matthew 28:18-20
Subject Missions Theme The Strategy of Missions
Proposition What are Four Keys to the Strategy of Missions ?
Subject Vision Theme The Power of Vision
Proposition What are Four Truths about the Power of Vision
Subject Faith Theme Positive Faith
Proposition What are Three Examples of Positive Faith in Hebrews 11 ?
Subject Faith Theme Negative Faith
Proposition What are Three Examples of the Power of Negative Faith
Subject Christian Living Theme Successful Christian Living
Proposition Three Keys of Successful Christian Living
Preaching is a gift and a learned skill. Good preachers are both born and made, they are gift people yet make every effort to excel in their gift. There are divine and human aspects to preaching, the dynamics and mechanics, for good preaching combines both inspiration and perspiration. The dynamics of preaching include aspects such as revelation, the anointing and unction of the Holy Spirit, faith and passion. The mechanics are the hard work that kneads and shapes and polishes the sermon. Paul encourages Timothy to stir the gift within and at the same time to be a workman who does not need to be ashamed. What are the mechanics of captivating preaching ?1) Preparation
Complementing the dynamic of revelation are the mechanics of preparation. Having found something worth saying, the preacher then prepares so he or she are worth listening to. This demands thought, the sanctifying of the intellect, the offering of our mind as an act of worship. Do not preach "off the top of your head", but from a reasoned, disciplined and worshipful mind. Preparation requires using a sermonic process, and the basic construction of the sermon centred around the subject, theme, proposition and main points.
It is difficult to disguise a lack of preparation. If the congregation have prepared to attend and come with an expectation to hear the Word of the Lord, it is disappointing and frustrating for them to discover the preacher has not done his or her preparation. The Word demands preachers give themselves to its ministry (Acts 6:4).
Find a time and style of preparation that suits you. Prepare in advance so that any unexpected interruptions do not leave you short. Many preachers choose to prepare no more than 48 hours before the occasion to preach, believing that the message should be fresh in their heart and mind. Other preachers prepare a week in advance as an insurance against those unexpected interruptions. Find a format and time that suits you. Preparation includes the notes you take into the pulpit. Develop an effective system. Preparation is hard work, but reaps great rewards. Remove any hint of laziness from your heart. Preparation includes the use of titles as creative title adds to the captivation of the sermon.2) Content
The outline of the sermon is exactly that, an outline. Subjects and themes, propositions and main points are merely the framework of the sermon. They are the skeleton to which substance is required, the menu that describes the meal. Menus don't satisfy hunger. Content revolves around explaining, illustrating and applying the main points. Shallow preaching will produce shallow congregations with stunted spiritual development.
Explanations require reading, research, word studies, background information. Sometimes the finest diamonds are found in the deepest mines. Pearls do not lie on the beach, they are prised from oysters found deep below the surface. Illustrations refer to more than just stories, learn to speak in pictures. When you hear other preachers or read studies or sermons, record any illustrations or memorable phrases that can be used or adapted later. Applications put legs on the sermon. Congregations scream out to their preachers, "Tell us what to do !" Applications require creative thought, and for this task our first resource is the creative genius of the Holy Spirit.3) Structure
Every sermon should build to a climax. Every preacher should light a fire in hearts and then stand back to watch it burn. Preach for a verdict, demand a response. Therefore, in the structuring of the main points, seek to build to the conclusion. If the sermon climaxes early, the effectiveness of the appeal may be diminished. The structure should be logically developed, as these classic outlines demonstrate.
Captivating preaching demands effective use of the voice. This includes volume, rate, pitch and tone which change appropriately. Lack of variety in the preacher's voice makes the finest content tedious and ineffective in its communication. One of the keys to effective speaking is to open your mouth.
Look after your voice. Song leading and preaching at the same service may strain your voice. Strained vocal chords respond best to warm fluids. Vocal chords are muscles that need warming up. Do not strain your voice. Do not fear the microphone, the sound technician will adjust the volume. Exercise your voice when on holiday.
The clear enunciation of consonants improves the preacher's diction. The way a speaker expresses the vowels of words and sentences will bring meaning and emphasis. Listening or watching yourself on tape is frightening, but immensely valuable when weaknesses in voice and style are identified and corrected.5) Suitable Body Language
Preachers must avoid facial grimaces. As a general rule, be pleasant, smile at your congregation, avoid frowning. Eye contact is vital for effective communication. Never preach to the balcony in a single storey building. Arm or body movements should be appropriate to the content. Try and avoid repetitive movements. Anything that distracts from the message should be deleted. Gimmicks are rarely successful a second time round, and if you feed the sensational you had better have a good supply.
Australia's greatest preachers are yet to stand behind a pulpit. Seek to be the best that you can be, not in competition with others, but as praise to Our Lord. Above all, be full of the Word and full of the Spirit.
© Copyright 1998-9. Produced by Jeremy & Bernice Griffiths for Marion City Education.
You are welcome to print out The Shepherd's Storehouse and distribute to other pastors and preachers on a non-commercial basis. Links to this site are welcome. Persons wishing to mirror this site should first contact Jeremy Griffiths.
Web site by David
Hosted by Naomi - the good advice server.
Naomi's bandwidth kindly provided by Blue Mountains Internet.