Tips for a good sermon

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31 Dec 2008 01:33 #21104 by Jon
Tips for a good sermon was created by Jon
Planning is the Alpha and Omega of producing an effective sermon. The first step is to identify with the audience. This requires a lot of empathizing. Misunderstanding among people can be reduced if they step into the other’s shoes.

The second step is clarify whether it is going to be a need- based or spiritual or scriptural based sermon. If the audience are relatives of a deceased, a topical sermon on how to understand and accept death for example would be appropriate. If the congregation is a general one that needs to just hear the Message, an expository sermon is alright.

The third step is to identify the goal, i.e., “To speak of the Force with full faith in that Force”. Or it can be “To help marginalised find their way back into social life”. Goal identification after the first two steps is better than keeping it as the first step; this can save a lot of time, energy and mistakes due to oversights.

The fourth step is to use this goal and select relevant passages in scriptural or literary texts. This requires an in-depth literary knowledge but also its applicability in people’s lives. Just like an effective teacher spends more time and effort in preparing than in delivering a lesson, an effective preacher spends more time and effort in this selection process. Topical sermons require more time to prepare than expository ones as the former needs to document real life experiences.

The sermon should be based on authoritative, credible sources (as far as explanations are concerned), be brief if possible, and easily applicable to the audience’s real life experiences.

The author of the TOTJO simple and solemn oath, the liturgy book, holy days, the FAQ and the Canon Law. Ordinant of GM Mark and Master Jestor.

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31 Dec 2008 01:50 #21105 by Jon
Replied by Jon on topic Tips for a good sermon
There is one of you, and lots of them. So in your desire to be relevant to as many listeners as possible, perhaps you tend to speak in general terms. Don’t.

Remember that generalities are as gripping as generic goods in a grocery store. Specifics sizzle. When you describe a Biblical scene, or an applicational situation, or an illustration, be as specific as possible. When you are specific, then listeners will be able to see, feel and experience. Do it well and your sermon will sizzle.

To be specific means saying Magnum, rather than weapon; 1998 BMW, rather than vehicle; adultery rather than sin; the nails through Christ’s palms, rather than Christ’s sufferings; Bob, the 45-year-old, overweight Chicago detective with the scar on the back of his hand, rather than officer.” (Obviously, be specific in the cultural language of your listeners.)


Like generic own label products in the supermarket – generalities are easy to find, they cost us little and they do a job. But they are bland and uninspiring. If a sermon was a meal you took many hours to prepare, you would want it to sizzle. Be specific.

The author of the TOTJO simple and solemn oath, the liturgy book, holy days, the FAQ and the Canon Law. Ordinant of GM Mark and Master Jestor.

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31 Dec 2008 01:52 #21107 by Jon
Replied by Jon on topic Tips for a good sermon
“All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated...As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness....No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

- John Donne

The author of the TOTJO simple and solemn oath, the liturgy book, holy days, the FAQ and the Canon Law. Ordinant of GM Mark and Master Jestor.

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