It’s easy to fall into a sermon preparation routine, whether it’s an intentional routine or not. If you’ve already established your routine, incorporate these 10 questions to take your sermon preparation to the next level. And if you don’t already have a routine, use these questions to streamline your sermon preparation process and bring intentionality to the next sermon you preach.
It seems obvious, but this is the first question you need to ask yourself before your next sermon. If you’ve already developed a preaching calendar, knowing your sermon topic will be easy. If not, it might require more planning. Either way, start by identifying your topic.
Once you’ve identified your topic, create a “Sticky Statement” – one statement that listeners can walk away with and remember after you preach.
At times, this question may actually come first. If you’re preaching through a particular book of the Bible or have a list of passages to preach, your sermon topic and direction may be driven by that existing plan. Whether or not that’s the case, make sure you know which passage you’ll be preaching from.
Once you have your passage identified, dive into the passage. What does the passage say? What does it mean? Learn through the dialogue in the passage. As you study, read, and meditate on the passage, let the text of the Scripture create your sermon points. Take notes on your observations using a tool like Sermonary.
Each pastor has a different style and preaching length. Before you preach your next sermon, determine how long you want it to be. If you’re not sure, consider the order of your service, church expectations and culture, and the average length of well-known pastors’ sermons.
Your audience members will have many learning styles and attention spans, but everyone listening will have one thing in common – they all want to engage and connect with your sermon. Multisensory preaching (preaching to all five senses) will help you accomplish this goal. Use video clips, smells, sound effects, music, food samples, or physical objects to give listeners a chance to connect with the sermon in deeper ways.
Don’t just tell people your main points, show them. Use physical and verbal illustrations to elaborate on your points and make them more meaningful. If you’re struggling to find illustrations, utilize resources like Sermonary’s Sermon Illustration library.
It’s important for people to connect with your sermon, but if they walk away without knowing how to take action, the sermon won’t have a lasting impact. Make sure you’re preaching a practical sermon with clear action steps listeners can take. Call people to take action, because action leads to life change.
As you review your sermon notes and outline, ask yourself if you’ve included a clear gospel message in your sermon. If not, add one. You don’t know if every person listening has a personal relationship with Christ, so use every sermon to call unbelievers to salvation.
Well-practiced, well-placed humor takes a sermon to the next level. Humor makes a sermon more engaging and memorable. Know your audience and intentionally place humor throughout your sermon to help listeners connect.
Above all, seek God’s guidance. If God is leading you to take your sermon in a new direction, follow His lead. If he’s leading you toward a particular point, passage, or illustration, include it. Don’t be afraid to change your plans to follow God’s leading in your sermon preparation.