People often ask: “What makes a sermon work?” After many years of preaching sermons, I find that sermons that work are biblical, structured and well illustrated.
There is one more ingredient that makes a sermon work. The sermon must be yours. I have never preached another person’s sermon.
Yes, I get ideas from other preachers. However, when I write and preach a sermon, I bring my personality and style to that sermon. I have never tried to emulate someone else. I am who I am and I write and preach accordingly.
Does that mean everyone likes my preaching? Not necessarily! However, if I work hard at writing biblical, structured and well illustrated sermons, then I give myself the best opportunity (with God’s empowering of course) to preach sermons that work.
When I refer to biblical sermons, I simply mean sermons that present biblical truth or principles.
I can present biblical truth and principles in several ways. I use expository sermons when I am preaching through books of the Bible or I use topical sermons when I am preaching a sermon series on a certain topic or I use evangelistic sermons when I am preaching the gospel message.
I always work on the principle that if I preach the Word of God (Biblical Sermons), then I give the Holy Spirit the greatest capacity to take God’s word and apply it to God’s people.
Structure is like a roadmap. It not only helps me to get from A to B, but also it helps people follow me. In other words, if I know where I am going with my sermon, then the congregation can follow me.
Sermon structure also involves deduction and induction. A deductive sermon begins with the main preaching point followed by sub-points and incidental points. An inductive sermon begins with the sub-points leading to the main preaching point.
Mastering sermon structure has helped me write and preach sermons that work!
Well Illustrated Sermons
Sermons that work are well illustrated. It is that simple. Preachers who have been around for some time know the important of sermon illustration. People will relate to what you are saying if you illustrate it with a story or some incident.
Let me give you an example of an illustration of retaliation.
A weary truck driver pulls his semi-trailer into an all night truck stop. The waitress just finishes serving this weary truck driver when three tough looking bikies walk in. For some reason, these bikies give the truck driver a hard time. Not only do they verbally abuse him, but also one grabbed his hamburger off his plate, another took a handful of his chips, and the third picked up his coffee and drank it.
Everyone looked on to see how he would respond. The weary truck driver did the unexpected. He calmly rose, went to the front counter, place his money on the cash register, and went out the door.
The waitress put the money in the till and then she followed him to the door and watched as he drove away into the night.
When she returned, one of the bikers said to her, “Well, he’s not much of a man is he?” She replied, “I don’t know about that, but he sure ain’t much of a truck driver. He just ran over three motorbikes on his way out of the parking lot.” (Source Unknown).
When I share that illustration, everyone knows what I am talking about. Illustrations help people relate to what you are saying.
If you want more information relating to sermons that work, then click on the following resources from some of my other websites.