Sermon Outline Basics


Sermon Outline Basics

This article will address the seven basic building blocks of a sermon. Entire books have been written on just one of these elements so please understand the few sentences I offer are just enough to head you in the right direction. Now let's take just a peek at each of them.

1. Title

The title is much more important that you think. You want a title that will encapsulate the message in just a few words. Let me give you an example — Living On the Wrong Side of Your Hurt! This title tells a story, carries deep emotion, and offers hope, all in eight words. A title should create interest, curiosity, or longing in within a person's heart when heard or read.

2. Introduction
A good introduction will move the audience from where they are to join you in what you want to share with them. Think of it as a bridge built to bring people out of their daily world to where you are with a desire to hear what you have to say. Be careful that it is not too long. It is just the beginning of the sermon, not the sermon itself.

3. Text
A sermon must rest on eternal truth. The Bible is the book preachers must use as the authority in their life and in their ministry. Think of it as the foundation. Everything you share should rest securely upon it without contradiction. What you say must rest upon what God has said. In this manner, you are connecting the spirits of the people with the Spirit of God.

4. Transitions
A sermon that the people are able to understand and follow will have good transitions included within it. Little is said about this, but transitions are very important. From each element to the next there should be transitions that tie them all together in a beautiful flow that enters the human heart.

5. Main Points
Without being a wisecrack, the main points are the main points. They are the main statements that you want to make. Try to keep these from three to five in number. If you go beyond that you will be pressed for time or take too much time. Word these points in such a way that they can be easily understood and remembered.

Within these main points there will be other content such as explanation, illustration and application. Some preachers enjoy alliterating their points so they can be easily remembered. Others will make each point make a statement or a question. There are many ways this can be done, so give your people a variety and it will keep you fresh.

6. Conclusion

This is the time and place you draw the noose so to speak. It is the summarizing of what has been said to complete the sermon. It will lead the people to the last element which is the invitation. As one preacher said, "In preaching you tell them what you are going to tell them, then you tell them, then you tell them what you told them." The "tell them what you told them" part is the invitation.

7. Invitation
This is the point where you call the audience to action. It answers the question, "What are you going to do about what you have heard?" It is the extending of an invitation to a better life and to make a difference so we will live in a better world and to ulitmately enjoy the eternal world.

These seven elements are the basic building blocks of a sermon. Familarize yourself with them and learn as much as you can. It will only help you to become a better preacher. The preacher who excels in the basics will soon soar in the advanced.

All the sermons in the Monday Morning Preacher's Packages that are part of the Sermon Seedbed subscription service have these elements and help preachers in the structure and delivery of their sermons. Check out these packages here.

This article written by Eddie Lawrence, D.Min. who is an author, pastor, and also oversees Sermon Seedbed which is a free resource site for pastors and Bible teachers.

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