Sermons that Make Points

The next pattern in Ronald Allen’s book, Preaching Patterns is what has been called “3 Points and a Poem.” This is an old deductive form where you begin by stating the major claim of the sermon. You then identify some key points that you will discuss. Then you end by helping the people reflect on the points in their daily living. Many times you close with a poem.

The points are arranged in a number of ways, it might be spatial (eg. world, nation, city, church, individual). Or you might use time(past, present , future). The individual points may support the main point, or it might be the major subdivisions of the main point.

This can be a helpful pattern and even today many people still use this pattern. However one must be careful in that your secondary points should relate to your main point. In addition, each of the sub-points should relate to the main point in the same kind of way.

Also in this era of “induction” we must recognize that telling people up front what your main point is can make your job harder in keeping the interests of the people up. Be that as it may, many preachers use this structure in very effective ways.

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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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