The Shepherd's Storehouse

Practical Resources for Pastors, Preachers & Leaders


No.7, Autumn 1999

This Issue


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.

Sermon Outlines

The Moment that Changes Your Life for Ever Exodus 3:1-12 M A #

Subject Moses Theme Moses at the Burning Bush

Proposition What are three key truths from this incident ?

Main Points
1. Moses, I am Directing Your Destiny vs6
His destiny was God Himself, "You'll worship God on this mountain" (vs12)
2. Moses, I am Depositing in You a Ministry vs10
His ministry was to allow God to work through him, "I've come down to rescue them"
3. Moses, I am Dealing with Your History vs12
God took him back to the place of his failure, to lead him on to his victory

Secrets of the Healing Ministry of Jesus Matthew 14:14

Subject Jesus Theme The Ministry of Jesus

Proposition What are truths about the healing ministry of Jesus ?

Main Points
1. His Eye        "He saw the crowd"
2. His Heart "He had compassion on them"
3. His Hand "He healed their sick"

How to Get Your Prayers Answered ! Matthew 15:21-28

Subject Jesus Theme Jesus and the Canaanite Woman

Proposition What Keys can we Learn from this Incident ?

Main Points
1. Be Clear in Your Desire vs22
2. Be Persistent in Your Prayer vs23
3. Be Reverent in Your Approach vs25
4. Be Humble in Your Attitude vs27
5. Believe for Your Answer vs28

How Does God Forgive ? Matthew 18:27 M

Subject God Theme God's Forgiveness

Proposition How Does God Forgive ?

Main Points
1. Forgiveness is an Expression of His Love
2. Forgiveness is the Cancellation of Our Debts
3. Forgiveness is Liberation for the Sinner

Discovering the Power of Forgiveness Matthew 18:21-35 M

Subject Forgiveness Theme Truths about Forgiveness

Proposition Three Truths about Forgiveness

Main Points
1. Forgiveness is a Choice         "but he refused" vs30
2. Forgiveness is an Attitude "from your heart" vs35
3. Forgiveness is Reciprocal "shouldn't you have mercy" vs33

The Incomparable Christ Matthew 20:28 - 21:11

Subject Jesus Theme Identifying the Real Jesus

Proposition How to Identify the Real Jesus "Who is This ?" (21:10)

Main Points
1. He is Jesus, the Prophet from Nazareth 21:11
2. He is the Son of Man, the Ransom for Many 20:28
3. He is the Son of David, the Compassionate Healer 20:34
4. He is the King, the Fulfilment of Prophecy 21:4-5

Get Ready ! Matthew 24:45-51

Subject Christian Living Theme Wise Christian Living

Proposition What are Three Ways for Christians to Live in Wisdom ?

Main Points
1. Wise Servants Really Believe the Promise of their Master
2. Wise Servants Really Fear the Judgment of their Master
3. Wise Servants Really Anticipate the Return of their Master

[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 ?

Main Points
1. His Power is our Mandate All Authority
2. His Passion is the World All Nations
3. His Person is our Message All Things
4. His Promise is our Comfort Always

Vision Sunday John 4:35 M A #

Subject Vision Theme The Power of Vision

Proposition What are Four Truths about the Power of Vision

Main Points
1. Lift Up A New Direction
2. Your Eyes A New Vision
3. Look On A New Dimension
4. The Fields A New Mission

Faith Says Yes ! Hebrews 11 M

Subject Faith Theme Positive Faith

Proposition What are Three Examples of Positive Faith in Hebrews 11 ?

Main Points
1. Enoch said Yes and Walked with God vs5
2. Noah said Yes and Worked for God vs7
3. Abraham said Yes and Waited for God vs10

Faith Says No ! Hebrews 11 M

Subject Faith Theme Negative Faith

Proposition What are Three Examples of the Power of Negative Faith

Main Points
1. Parents who say No to ungodly laws 11:23
2. Leaders who say No to the lure of the world 11:24
3. Sinners who say No to doubts and fears 11:31

The Senses of Faith

Subject Christian Living Theme Successful Christian Living

Proposition Three Keys of Successful Christian Living

Main Points
1. You Don't Have to Have Eyes to See Rom.4:19
2. You Don't Have to Have Ears to Hear Rom.10:17
3. You Don't Have to Have a Mouth to Speak Rom.12:1

The Mechanics of Captivating Preaching

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.

A Useable Missionary
They should be sendable
They should be bendable
They should be dependable
They should be dispensable
(G D James)
Earn all you can
Save all you can
Give all you can
(John Wesley)

4) Voice

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.


Back to  Home | Contents

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.

Snail Mail: P.O. Box 1987, South Plympton, S.A., Australia, 5038
Telephone: (08) 8371-2929


Web site by David Martin
Hosted by Naomi - the good advice server.
Naomi's bandwidth kindly provided by Blue Mountains Internet.