7 Steps to a Good Sermon or How To Create and Preach a Sermon

I am writing this to include in the Problogger.net How To Group Writing Project. At this link you can find a number of Bloggers giving “how to’s” on a ton of subjects…

This post has been expanded into a free ebook that you can find information about at this link

  1. Get a Text to Preach – There are many ways to get a text. The preacher can choose a text. The preacher can use a lectionary like the Revised Common Lectionary that assigns a text. The preacher can create a sermonic plan that incorporates and includes a list of texts. One preacher told me that he daily reads the Bible devotionally and then he writes down insights. When it is time to preach he goes through his notes for the previous year to find themes and texts to preach.
  2. Interpret the Text For Preaching – Biblical exegesis consists of readingPreaching Paul the text closely. An outline method that I use for exegesis is from Dr. Brad Braxton. He looks at the text from a few angles to get a well rounded view of the text. First he gets his initial impressions of the text by reading it in various translations and noting whatever comes to his mind in relation to the text. Then he goes to a literary analysis where he carefully examines the literary structure of the text. Here we look at exactly what is said in the text. Then he does an analysis of the Historical and Rhetorical dimensions of the text under consideration. Here we look at the history behind the text including the author and the hearers of the text. Finally, Dr. Braxton looks at the Theological and Contextual dimensions of the text. Here we seek to understand the social context of the text and the theology of the writers and hearers of the text.
  3. You can see his process more fully in the book Preaching Paul.

  4. Get a Theme for the Sermon – What is the point of your sermon? Here you look at your exegesis and determine what does God want the hearers to get from the sermon and how do you think the hearers should respond to the sermon? In other words what does the Sermon Claim about the Gospel and what do you want the people to do as a result of hearing the sermon.
  5. Write the Sermon – Using the theme of the sermon and the exegesis, write the sermon. Be sure to structure your sermon in a way that makes sense. By that I mean that the movement of the sermon makes sense and would not be confusing to the hearers. I try to write my first draft as quickly as possible.
  6. Prepare Sermon for Preaching (Editting and Polishing) – If you have written your sermon very quickly then it is time to actually edit the sermon. Condense the sermon by getting rid of words that are redundant. You also want to get rid of theological concepts that might be hard to understand for the hearers. You don’t have to dumb down the content, but you must state whatever you have to say in a clear way.
  7. Practice the Sermon – Go over the sermon in your mind or out loud. Reading the serrmon out loud will help you to continue the editing. You will find some parts don’t make sense and other parts can be made more clear. You will also gain a greater command of your sermon.
  8. Preach the Sermon With Confidence – Go ahead and present the sermon. You have prepared, you have a Biblical sermon becuase you did adequate exegesis. You have an interesting and informative sermon becuase you came up with the sermonic point and you have an idea of how the people should respond to the sermon.

Someone asked once how long should each step take? Well that is a hard question, it should take as long as it takes you to finish the point. But I do wish to add that you will never be totally finished in sermon preparation even after the presentation of the sermon. So you must prepare enough…what that means depends on who you are…

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Comments

  1. Just wanted to let you know that you made the “Top 5″ on dipnoi. http://www.dipnoi.org/archives/category/technology/

  2. Sherman Haywood Cox II says:

    Scott,

    Thanks for pulling out the Christian resources from the ProBlogger Group project. I was thinking about doing that myself.

  3. It’s great to see a Christian post among the submissions! Our how-to is up as well if you’d like to check it out!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    This really helped me out. The Spirit is stirring up inside of me, and i want to be a youth pastor. I just cant afford to go to a proper school. I want to preach and this will surely help me. Thank you.

  5. Well I Guess God surpassed the whole youth pastor with me…and made me a full time pastor of a church at the age of 25 i say this not to glory myself but to show the need for direction at time, sur I have a Bishop(apostol) who oversees everything but its a bit of a task at times due to the fact that He lives out of the country. Anyways, this little bit helped out and in the Kingdom of Heaven every little bit counts…ahahah..lol God Bless….

  6. Thank you!
    I was called to the minitry 30 yrs ago and have been preaching in my mind every since…..I finally answered the call and ready for the journey god has planned for me. This 7 steps outline is exactly what I was looking for. I’ve read several writings and literature on the matter, but this is abc, 123.

    Thank you so much

  7. There are various styles to chose from in an effort to preach effectively. As bridging the text to the sermon is key, one should strongly consider a thorough outline which helps exegete a text with authenticity and clarity. I’ve found 12 essential skills to great preaching by wayne mcdill to be one of the best books i’ve read for those wishing to excel in sermon preparation. You may also want to check out Haddon Robinson’s “Biblical Preaching”. I’ve found it to be a good read!

  8. shermancox says:

    While I have not read McDill’s work, I have been acquainted with Robinson’s book. This post was writen about 2 years ago. In the interim, I have noted the importance of an outline that would come between steps 3 and 4 above.

    God Bless…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Wow!!!…..A preacher who wont take the time to go to school. A preacher who used the words “CANT AFFORD”. Sounds like you dont have enough faith in God to pay for your school. HMMMMMM……I wonder what you are going to tell the youth at your church who say they cant afford college. I’m glad you are not my pastor.

  10. sermons are always tought to get started. this is a great guide that makes it easier. video sermons list of books of the bible

  11. A preacher said long ago God can make a bad man good. He said in order for there to be Good news there must be some bad news.

    a dead man can be given life

    the bad news is the wages of sin is death the good news is to belive in christ there is an everlasting life.

    Trust God! a school will on tell you what a man knows.

    God is your resource and the word is your guide. your tide is your time in the word and he will provide the messades. know him your self nobody can do it for you.

    1 Corinthians 4:2-4 (New Century Version)
    2 Now in this way those who are trusted with something valuable must show they are worthy of that trust.3 As for myself, I do not care if I am judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself.4 I know of no wrong I have done, but this does not make me right before the Lord. The Lord is the One who judges me.

    MotorCityKing

  12. preacher says:

    there was nothing mentioned about praying and asking the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you into all truth. Should not a sermon be divinely downloaded from the Spirit of God?

  13. Sherman Haywood Cox II says:

    Please type prayer in the search box and you will find a number of materials on the subject. Here are a few examples:

    Prayer and the pulpit – http://www.soulpreaching.com/prayerpulpit
    Stages of Exegesis – http://www.soulpreaching.com/exegesis
    Leave Room for the Spirit – http://www.soulpreaching.com/node493

  14. Danny vakessa says:

    I’realy like to be as one of the memberS.The reason for me to be part, it is not that to be part, but some how 100% I’m intresting in knowing how to preaching Gods word. So I’m realy one to now how to preached GODS WORD..Can ypu gys HELP OUT PLEASE.

  15. preacher says:
    March 5, 2010 at 11:03 am

    “there was nothing mentioned about praying and asking the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you into all truth. Should not a sermon be divinely downloaded from the Spirit of God?”

    Amen!!

  16. Sherman Haywood Cox II says:

    Please type prayer in the search box and you will find a number of materials on the subject. Here are a few examples:

    Prayer and the pulpit – http://www.soulpreaching.com/prayerpulpit
    Stages of Exegesis – http://www.soulpreaching.com/exegesis
    Leave Room for the Spirit – http://www.soulpreaching.com/node493

  17. FAMLIFEDOC says:

    Bishop Cox,

    I wonder are you able or do you have time on your schedule to personally come to my chapel and conduct a workshop for my lay ministers? I have six pastors who are a part of my team and wonder if you might come to train in a workshop for us and also speak to our men’s ministry.

    Chaplain M.LG.

  18. How long does it take, on average, for “seasoned” person to write a sermon?

  19. On average, hOw long should it take a “seasoned” pastor to write a sermon?

  20. To write a sermon does not take long once you have done the preparation. Now the preparation may takes hours to a lifetime. Most of it is from past study (knowledge and material you already possess on the theme), experience, and your time with God; whatever time it takes for you to prayfully immerse yourself in the theme/Scripture. If possible give yourself weeks, if not weeks, then days. Donot short-change God or His people. Give your all to the preparation; then give your all to God for the presentation. God bless.

  21. Just reading on all the comments and while reading the person who said you not having the funds to pay for school let me encourage you no one in the bible went to school physically they went spiritually being taught by God and when Jesus came on the scene that was their teacher which again God himself just in the flesh and in the new testament the Word said you need not man to teach you what the holy spirit has already taught you turst God spend time meditating on His word and always stay prayerful and fast faithfully God will show you what to do who to go to or better they will come to you. Let God be Elshidi and Jehova Jerah if its for you to go from the pew to school God wil be done but dnt be surprised if He take you beyond the palace into the pulpit and it might not be a building but in the places wer the least among us sit. God bless

  22. Stephanie Villanos says:

    I really like listening to sermons from Jim Miller of Glenkirk Church.

  23. Frank Kandus says:

    This steps are wonderful. I will try them out

  24. Yandisa Tsipa says:

    When then do you get God involved , and how then become confident? the two questions may take the steps that you have suggested to a God desired preaching.

  25. jerry opoku says:

    This is an opportunity for me. Preaching has been my problem all this while but thanks be to CLI and sherman coxfield , from their studies through this book has helped me a lot. kudos and God thatbless you all

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