In this series of posts, we have walked step-by-step through a proven-process to get you from a blank page to ready for Sunday in 7 Steps. In this final post we will look at the last three steps of writing a sermon.
There is a relatively huge mistake that a lot of pastors make on a routine basis: They preach their message without running the material by anyone first. This can be a huge problem because if you are the only one seeing your content you may miss something because we all have blindspots. You may think something makes perfect sense when it really doesn’t. You may think the points connect to the main idea when they really don’t. You may be on the right track but need a little guidance to make sure...
Have you ever wanted a step-by-step guide to creating a sermon from scratch? In this series of posts, we are unpacking a practical guide to go from a blank page to ready for Sunday in seven steps. If you work through the seven action steps in this series, you’ll have a sermon written and be ready to go. You can check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this series to get caught up on the first three steps. For today, let’s dive into step four:
At this point in the process you have a workable outline that flows from building tension to resolving the tension with the text to applying the text and inspiring action. At this point it is especially important to have well-crafted points that give you listeners a way to navigate with you through your sermon and see how it works for them.
If it doesn’t, either change...
In this series of posts, we are discovering a practical guide to go from a blank page to ready for Sunday in seven steps. If you work through the seven action steps in this series, you’ll have a sermon written and be ready to go. In Part 2 of this series we looked at second step which is to dig into Scripture. You can check that out here. If you missed part 1 you can check it out here. For today, let’s dive into step three:
Step 3: Build an outline. At this point in your study you have established a topic, title and hook. You have thoroughly studied the primary passage of scripture and other supporting texts. You have taken notes on what you’ve observed from the passages. As you’ve taken notes your thoughts have began to form around what you would want to communicate in a sermon. Some of the heavy lifting is over because at this point you’ve done so much foundational work that the sermon structure should come...
Ninjas aren’t born. They’re made.
Ninjas are made through a continual, life-long pursuit of mastering their art.
What is a preaching ninja? It’s the preacher who understands how crucial it is to master the art of preaching. It’s the preacher who won’t settle for anything less than the best they can bring. It’s the preacher who recognizes they always have areas that can improve.
If you’re like me, you know how important it is to work on your preaching but it’s hard to know what to focus on. There are so many things pulling at your time that it makes it tough to justify spending time and energy on improving yourself as a preacher.
But I’m convinced that there is not a greater gift you could give your church than to bring your best every time you preach and commit to continually improving your craft as a preacher.
I have put together a helpful resource that reveals a proven process of sermon prep and delivery...
In this series of posts, I am revealing a practical guide to go from a blank page to ready for Sunday in seven steps. If you work through the seven action steps in this series, you’ll have a sermon written and be ready to go. In Part 1 of this series we looked at step one which was to determine a topic, title and hook. If you haven’t checked out that post yet, find it here. For today, let’s dive into step two:
Once you’ve selected a passage of scripture to work from you should begin studying it first. If you are working with a topic and you need to find where the Bible addresses it you could use BibleGateway.com, YouVersion.com or Biblehub.com to search for passages that deal with that topic. It’s good to anchor your message to a particular passage of Scripture and then pull in other supporting texts as needed to support and bolster your points.
In a series of posts entitled “So You Think You Can Preach? 6 Steps to Get Started Preaching” I walked through at all the ways to pursue preaching opportunities for those who are just beginning as a preacher. I suggested starting where you are… in your Bible study or small group… and continuing to look for opportunities to preach outside of that. Today I want to take you to the next level and reveal how to write a sermon.
So, let’s say you’ve led some Bible studies and small groups and you’re feeling relatively confident about teaching in small group contexts. But recently your pastor has tapped you on the shoulder and said, “Would you preach on Sunday night in two weeks?” Or you got a call from a church that is without a pastor and have been asked to fill in next Sunday.
This is so exciting! This is what you’ve been waiting for! But you have some aching questions: What do I do?...
One of the most fulfilling things I get to do as a pastor is preach. It is not easy, but it doesn’t need to be easy. I still love it. I’m sure you love it too. To celebrate the joys of preaching, this Thanksgiving Day I want to share four things I’m thankful for as a preacher:
1. I’m thankful for getting to do what I love.
Preaching gives me an opportunity to do something I really enjoy. I love to inspire, challenge, motivate and encourage others. I love to be creative and think outside the box. I love to develop and present content that helps people. Preaching encompasses all of these wonderful things. It is an art that I love to work on and improve. I’m thankful for preaching because I love to do it. It’s exhilarating. If you preach you understand exactly what I’m talking about.
2. I’m thankful when I see how God used me to work in someone’s life.
I’ve written about how to get more helpful feedback on your...
Every year when the holidays roll around there are lots of people who genuinely want to give back to their pastors with some sort of gift. This, by the way, is NOT something we expect as pastors nor would we ever feel entitled to it.
But, gifts do come our way sometimes. People in our churches want a way to say ‘thank you’ for caring for their families, ministering to them, being there for them when they need us and leading them spiritually.
As someone who loves pastors and appreciates the sacrifices they make for their churches, I want to give you a list of gift ideas that your pastor will actually like.
Here’s the thing: most pastor gifts are so not good. Like so not good, and no pastor wants them. I know hundreds of pastors, and I can guarantee you, none of them are sitting around saying, “I sure wish someone would give me a calendar-paperweight-magnet with a deer and an an inspirational verse on it!”
So, if you really...
The opening words of your sermon can fall flat if you don’t have a good plan. It’s good to be intentional about the way you introduce a message. I will walk you through exactly how to start your sermon for maximum impact and engagement. We’ll focus on how to capture and maintain the interest of your listeners in the first 5-6 minutes of your message. Let’s jump in to the most important part – the first 1.5 minutes.
The first 90 seconds of your sermon are some of the most powerful seconds you have. This is when your listeners’ attention is most optimal and when they are giving you their undivided attention.
Don’t waste these moments. Your listeners decide within these first 90 seconds whether they will keep listening to you or not. This is particularly true if they don’t know you. But even if they do know you and like you as a preacher, every Sunday is a new opportunity to engage them or lose them. And both...
In the days before Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and other streaming services ruled the media viewing world, I was really into box dvd sets. They were all the rage, and I was all in.
Lost was the first TV show I watched on dvd with each episode in immediate succession. I was in college at the time and had a load of classes for which I should have been studying. But instead I would watch an episode and go immediately to the next and the next and the next. I would tell myself, “This is the last episode tonight.” But inevitably I would push it to one or two more. Why?
The producers of Lost (and every good TV show before or since) were masterful at building tension. They knew the secret to keeping people on the edge of their seat and coming back for more.
Television and movie producers understand something a lot of preachers do not: You have to make people care about your content before they’ll give their attention to more of it.