Top 5 Techniques for Sermon Idea Generation

This post is a part of the ProBlogger.Com Group writing project. If you have a Blog I would encourage you to join in. In This post I have the Top 5 techniques for SErmon Idea Generation. I assume that you already have a text.

  1. Look at the Text through a theme. Here you take a theme like Youth or Mother’s Day or Seniors, or some other theme. You then look at the text explicitly to see if what the text says specifically about the situation under consideration.
  2. Look at the Text from different perspectives. Here you change the perspective. For example, we often read the story of the Prodigal Son and place ourselves in the position of the son and place God as the father and then we place others as the brother who never left. What would happen if we make ourselves the father? How does that change the story? What if we try to appreciate what the brother who never left actually went through and look at the story from his perspective? Doing this can force us to look at the text anew and might help us see different things that we might not otherwise see.
  3. Look at the text through a particular doctrine – This is an interesting approach. Often when we seek to teach doctrinal texts we use the didactic portions of scripture and not the narrative ones. But what would happen if we looked at a story with a particular doctrine in mind. What does the story have to tell us about that doctrine? What does the above mentioned Prodigal son story tell us about say the Trinity. You might hit a dead end, but attempting to find such a connection can help to make doctrines more relevant in the mind of the hearer.
  4. Look at the text for images, sounds, and smells – Listen to the text and see what images are in the text. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? How do these things fit with other images in the Bible? What sites and smells are in the prodigal son story? Well we have the smells of the pig pen versus the smells of the home cooked meal. The difference in smell alone might spark some sermonic content. What about what about thinking about what the prodigal son saw on the way back home. What was on the road from the pig pen to home? No doubt it was the same road that he come in on. What has changed so that now the same sights, sounds, and smells that was leading him away from home is now leading him back home? Here we have more thoughts for sermons that come from the sights, sounds, and smells in the text.
  5. Look at an old Classic – Often we put too much emphasis on orginality. instead look at a common text that has been preached often over and over again. What does this text say to us today? There are reasons that many of these texts are common.

There you have it. 5 top techniques for sermon idea generation. If you follow them then you will have more sermons than you have time to preach.

Comments

comments

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.

Posted in blog, Preaching
5 comments on “Top 5 Techniques for Sermon Idea Generation
  1. Sherman Haywood Cox II says:

    Tom,

    Thanks for the comment. Yes it is not easy to come up with content every week. I mean a 30 minute sermon means 10 double spaced pages of new content every week. Everyone has different methods, these are just a few that I use.

    God Bless…

  2. Tom O'leary says:

    Hi
    Nice top 5
    Its interesting for me to see the process that a preacher goes through

    Thanks
    Tom

  3. Jennifer says:

    I have always wondered this…why jump around so much. Why not start from the beginning and go to the end with all the sermons you can dream of in the middle??

  4. Sherman Haywood Cox II says:

    Jennifer,

    I think you are asking why not begin at the beginning of the Bible and simply preach through till the end. That is a good question and actually there are some who follow such a methodology.

    Jumping around like you are saying can cause people to not get a systematic understanding of the scripture or doctrine. I would encourage you to look at my free ebook 7 Steps to an effective sermon where I discuss different methods of scripture selection…

    God Bless…

  5. robinson go says:

    good ideas. i’m always impressed by how my pastors prepare through their sermons at church. God bless u.

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