Writing A Sermon — Tips for Preachers



from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Can you develop effective lessons for sermons one, two, three, or even more times a week? It can be done by following these simple steps. So how do you create your Christian lessons and sermons? No, not a borrowed lesson or sermon that might do for once or occasionally, like in an emergency. Sure, you can get something to teach or preach about quickly that way, but will it be relevant to you and your audience? Here are some ideas on how to form your lesson or sermon.


  1. Follow, above all, the scriptures and the leading of the Holy Spirit for God’s purpose in the lives of your audience. Know your audience. Also seek a heartfelt "anointing" – study and pray to seek guidance: be enthused.
  2. Get a clear idea of what you intend to teach. You never will begin to preach without a direction or purpose, if you follow the steps to get it organized.
  3. Plan and make an outline for your topic that is something you would like to know more about and can explain and teach to: that does not mean to create a story like literature, or a lecture and not even to write an essay, but you do need to plan it as explained in the Three Part Outline section.
    • A lesson or sermon is usually best if it is spoken without memorizing it all and not even writing it all down in complete sentences and then you cannot merely read it, but use a meaningful outline, and make your key words larger so that they stand out in your eye and in your mind. That can be like a map to follow. A lesson or sermon is not like a speech or oration that a public speaker (such as a politician) might read to audience.
    • This sermon may be a whole new topic or one in a "series" of multiple sermons or lessons.
  4. Be dynamic, with a living phrasing by not reading it, so that it is not set in stone, and then you can feel more inspired and feel alive, and make a more inspiring communication between the teacher/preacher and the class or the congregation.
  5. Try "not" relying on very detailed notes, but that does not mean that you will be speaking without your plan or without your outline.
  6. Know the outline and the plan so well that you don’t need to look at it or your notes more than an occasional glance, or so that you only need the larger key word to make it click in your mind, but you can have them there, open and available.
  7. Be direct; get to the point of the message that is intended, but how do you do it?
  8. Think of a topic as having three simple parts in the message or lesson like a Three Part Outline. The three parts are given next:
    1. Introduce your message topic by telling what you are going to cover and why, or why it’s important, or how it is relevant.
      • You may give a humorous remark about what it does or does not mean.
      • You probably have a starting point related to a scripture or an event that was the impetus for the main idea.
    2. Teach the message by developing it (expanding upon it) with examples and telling who is involved, when, where and alternatives, or what the different events might be.
      • Since you gave the concept to be developed in the introduction, then you and the class or congregation know what you are talking about, and you know upon what you will make a conclusion.
      • Develop your main points with examples like stories, Biblical parables, part of a song, or such that you can weave into the topic.
      • You may realize that there would be objections in your topic like:
        • "What do you mean?"
        • "How did that happen?"
        • "What if _______ (name something) happened?"
      • And so, ask those as rhetorical questions (So it is not to seek an answer from the audience, unless it’s a small group.) and answer them like: "What if ______ happened? Well, then this is what you or someone can do ______ because_____, but then _____." and so you answer the objections or questions. If you do allow answers, don’t disagree with the answer, but say okay and then steer it onto the path you had in mind.
    3. Conclude with issuing a call to action based on the matter in the topic. Perhaps this would be a call to accept Jesus as Savior. This is putting the finish on what you introduced and developed–such as to remember to try the ideas, pray or study, etc.
      • This is like an assignment to do the things that you taught or preached about.
  9. Use some optional resources such as the following:
    • Rely on other people for advice and all of you ideas: no, not really. It is a good idea to have someone to talk ideas over with, if you would not talk and visit all day with various people, and avoid not studying or preparing well — that won’t work very often.
    • Talk to other teachers/preachers to get ideas, but that could become a habit and be a crutch and a waste of time for both of you if the two of you have different needs and objectives.
  10. Try to use various collections of sermon outlines from old or new books of sermons, but change it to fit you needs.
  11. Find sermon outline services on the internet.
    • They probably can’t serve your needs if you just pick out a sermon outline that sort of sounds okay, and it is something that does not particularly inspire or inform, or about which you wouldn’t care to talk/hear yourself.
    • They won’t be in your style, in your order, or right for the way you feel or speak.
  12. Download collections of lessons or sermons
    • some great oldtime-religion materials should be found out there, for free.
    • consider subscribing to preaching outlines perhaps with Power Point presentations, with pictures, and examples–even with a complete order of service, list of verses, cross references, and songs to use.
  13. Consider Bible software that has Bible, commentary, dictionary, cross references which can all be great.
  14. Use free Bible look-up websites accessible for 25 versions and even with different languages such as [1] and [2]; the two sites totally free and are quite different from each other: see the sources and citations below.
  15. Pray and read your Bible daily. Give thanks, take notes, think and muse on the scriptures, and so be in the right frame of mind to reach and receive inspirations.



  • Sometimes you lose your way in a sermon and start "acting" like you are teaching or preaching instead of teaching or preaching, or just "filling" the time. This will lead to rambling, while standing at the lectern or pulpit unprepared.
    • You find yourself trying to have some enthusiasm to cover up for confusion, and to seem like you think your lesson or sermon really matters to you, and that it should matter to others.
  • Prepare more than you think you will need, because you might go through it more quickly than you expected and run out of material sooner than you think.


  • Avoid not having a real lesson or sermon: just an idea to introduce and develop with a Bible verse or two is usually not enough.
    • So then you might sing, pray, shout, and pace about and maybe you can jump around and pound on the lectern or pulpit and shake your bible, if you are not prepared. But, be prepared next time.

Sources and Citations

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Write a Sermon. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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