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3 Great Sermon Preparation Tips

If you’ve never written a sermon before it can be a tall order, daunting task and difficult to start. I guess you call it writer’s block, coupled with the nerves of standing in front of a large, expecting congregation. Where do you start, what do you talk about and which passage of scripture do you use? Lots of questions and very little time? How do your bring it all together and present it as a nice package that’s presented clearly and concisely. Especially difficult when you appreciate that so much scripture is open to interpretation. If you’ve been wracking your brain and losing sleep, here are 3 great sermon preparation tips to get you started!

Top of the list has to be the right passage. A lot of the time you will focus on this part of scripture and which ties your attention and gives your sermon a core theme to follow. Choose the Last Supper for example and you’re not going to stray into other aspects of Jesus’ life. It is also important to pick specific bible verses, or at least have a short list to mind that will help the sermon run smoother and stop you going off on a tangent in other directions. In some instances, the right sermon verses almost write you sermon themselves. How’s that for easy sermon preparation!

Secondly, you want to start the sermon off with a personal message or story that the congregation can appreciate. Be clear, animated, expressive and, if possible, some humour is good. Remember, you can have the most important message in your sermon but if the congregation has ‘switched off’ then your words fall on deaf ears. Don’t be too quite to dive into the deeper, theological meanings. Get your congregations attention, let the story build so you have the congregations ear and remember, you’re a human so let your emotions come through.

Finally, keep your sermon short, snappy and to the point. You don’t’ just want to keep the congregations attention today, you want to be remembered, invited back and to have a great, positive impact on their lives. As a wise (and slightly controversial) minister once reminded me, “if you can’t get your point across in ten minutes or less, then it wasn’t worth sharing anyway.”

A great way to keep it short, is during your sermon preparation use bullet points. Important, bulletted points that can trigger your memory into what comes next and keep you on track are very important. Three or four should be sufficient (that’s not much over 3 minutes a bullet) and will keep your sermon on track to be short and sweet.

In this short article we’ve focused on some huge points that will take your sermon preparation to another level. Remember, use a specific piece of scripture to base your sermon on, use a personal story that hooks in the congregation and don’t talk for too long. Follow these three tips and the great sermon preparation you’ve done will make sure that congregation stays awake, loves your sermon and ask for you back!

great sermon preparation

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The New Testament in CD and MP3 formats will be in retail outlets secular and Christian, storefront and online by Fall. The Old Testament follows in 2007. Price: $29.99
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