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This Practice Will Make Every Sermon Better

So, how exactly do you write a great talk, sermon or message?

Everybody has their own method, and I’m not sure there’s a universal formula (although, for sure, some work better than others).

But there is one practice that will make every talk better.

Write a killer bottom line.

A bottom line is the main point of your talk summed up in a single, memorable sentence.

It’s extremely difficult to come up with an accurate, memorable bottom line (at least it is for me), but so worth it.

Crafting a great bottom line will:

Make you a better thinker.

Help you understand your talk more deeply.

Force you to simplify complex subjects.

Make your talk more memorable for your audience.

So, how do you do it?

Here’s the general process I use. It may not work for everyone, but it works for me. And, sure, not every bottom line will be killer. But if you keep at it, your potential to write a few increases.

I hope it can help you.

1. Start with a general idea. 

When I’m thinking about a series or talk, I try to come up with a ‘general ballpark’ for it.

For example, I’m thinking about a sermon series for next year on moral relativism. Right now, that’s all I know.

Other times, if I’m preaching, I won’t start with an idea, but with a text that I want to teach. That was the case in the last year with both Esther and Psalm 101. I didn’t know where I wanted to take them, but I knew I wanted to preach them.

So, start with a subject.

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.