The sermon is not a Biblical lecture designed merely to inform the hearer of some interesting facts. It is not merely a place where you can learn different stories from the Bible. Certainly it includes that, but no it is more than that. The sermon is a vehicle for an encounter with the Most High God. This encounter does “inform,” but it also provides hope, healing, direction, salvation, etc. Because of this, preachers should embed in the sermon an expectation of a response from the congregation.
Perhaps one of the most common errors in sermonic structure is to have too many competing points. Sometimes preachers exhibit this error when they go on tangents or on asides that are only marginally related to the main point.
In any case, a sermon should have one major point or theme. Grady Davis calls it an idea that grows, Haddon Robinson calls it the big idea, Thomas Long calls it a focus statement, Paul Scott Wilson calls it the Major Concern of the text, Bryan Chapell calls it the Fallen Condition Focus, Brad Braxton calls it the Gospel Claim, and Henry Mitchell calls it the Controlling Idea.
Whatever you call it, your sermon needs a driving idea that is behind it that helps you determine what to add in and what to leave out. Too many sermons have no one major idea. Sometimes the “three points and a poem” turn into three sermons and a whoop with little reference to any of the other points.
To fix this problem in your sermon, ask simply what one thing are you trying to teach in the sermon? All of the “points” or “moves” should support that one point. If it does not then drop it.
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