3 Simple Ways to Preach for Application

sermon prep Mar 16, 2023

One of your jobs as a preacher is to teach your listeners how to live out the truths you preach from Scripture.

Preaching, of necessity, requires application. We’re preaching for life-change. We’re preaching to make the written word become the living word in people’s daily lives.

But the application part of the sermon is often the most difficult to execute well. I once listened to a sermon where the preacher concluded with a list of 13 ways to apply the message. Thirteen ways! Most people struggle to remember thirteen different truths from one sermon, much less apply them. He was well-meaning, but the buckshot approach just doesn’t work.

With that said, drilling down on just one application seems too narrow. You have a varied audience with varied needs. The text has one meaning, and hopefully your message can be summed up in one big idea, but the way the text can be applied to someone’s life is innumerable. You can’t list every possible way it could be applied, but you want to get your listeners to see for themselves how it applies to their situation.

I’ve discovered that it’s often best to simplify it in my mind. When I unnecessarily make the process of teaching application too complicated it tends to be unhelpful. So, I’ve simplified it down to three categories of how I give application. Keep in mind, these are just categories. There is a lot of freedom within each one, but I like to have the basic framework. In this episode, I'll share them with you.


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