How to Structure a Sermon

The preacher was a well-respected pulpiteer. The sermon was doctrinally sound. He seemed to preach with sincerity, reverence, and passion. But the sermon felt like we were driving on a flat tire. What went wrong? At the end of the service, the friend sitting next to me leaned over a said, “He had four alliterated […]

Three Keys to Effective Sermon Preparation

“So what do you do for a living?” I have a new answer to that question: “I write sermons.” Occasionally, an alert listener will reply, “You only write sermons? Do you preach them?” Then I give the punchline. “Sure, I do. But it’s hard to remember that part. As soon as the sermon is over, […]

On Sermon Preparation

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. – 2 Timothy 2:15 A pastor’s primary responsibility is to preach and teach the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 4:1-5). Faithfulness to this […]

On Choosing Sermon Titles

The sermon title is not the most important part of a sermon. And choosing a title is not an essential part of sermon preparation. Some preachers slap any title on the sermon after the hard work of preparation. Others decide not to give the sermon a title at all. This is understandable. It is also […]

On Writing Sermon Manuscripts

The pastor left his sermon manuscript in the pulpit. When the janitor found it, he couldn’t resist the urge to read it. He was impressed, until he stumbled over a note in the margin: “Argument weak here. Start yelling!” Old story. Timeless truth: Passion is never a substitute for clarity. If you write yourself clear, […]

You Have To Do What You Have To Do

“You have to do whatever the Lord says you have to do in order to preach that Bible.” When I heard a friend say this in a conversation with a group of preachers, I laughed. He was asked his philosophy of sermon preparation. Specifically, they wanted to know what steps he takes to get from […]

A Word of Wisdom from Proverbs

I am way behind my in my sermon preparation for Sunday this week. I am really looking forward to preaching in the morning. But I have not really had the time or energy or focus to spend the time in the seat that I needed to this week. So I am in the seat today […]