Four Disjointed Points is not a Sermon

One of the most important rules for preachers is to have one major point. Now if you preach the three points and a poem, what this means is that each of your points should be connected in some way to the main point. If you preach a narrative, it means that you have a major point in mind as you preach the sermon. That way, the people can remember the sermon.

Sermon not Biblically-Derived

There are a few mistakes that one can make when preaching a sermon based on points. The first one is to have points that are not derived from a particular scripture. In one sermon the preacher didn’t directly tie the points to the scripture under consideration. So it sounded like he was just coming up with them out of thin air. Another approach that is guilty of this sin is to have three or four points and each point has its own totally disconnected scripture. Here the sermon is simply grabbing four unrelated points and then attaching a scripture to it to have the appearance of being biblically derived.

Unrelated Points

Another problem is to have points that are not related to each other or some larger point. This past week I heard a well known preacher preach a sermon that was three disjointed points and then an unrelated celebration. As I sat in the congregation, I could see that the people were confused about the point of the sermon and presumably would not really know how to use the sermon in daily life.

Organization Makes it Portable

My homiletics professor taught me to make the gospel “portable” which means to make it accessible to people and usable by the people. That way in the future, people will be able to use it in their daily lives. When you refuse to have one major point and you essentially have more than one sermon because the points are not connected, then your sermon is not “portable” it is a waste of time. While God can certainly make good come out of this kind of sermon, we should not make the Spirit’s job more difficult by our lack of organization.

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Sherman Haywood Cox II

Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

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Roger B. Abuloc - December 14, 2010 Reply

Using four disjointed points is not really a sermon. It is just like using 4 topic sentences and then developed them appear like a sermon. What is worse if Biblical quotes are put in only to look the message with sound like it. It is the same as in a jig-saw puzzle where the pieces are not in their correct places.

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