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How to Structure a Sticky Sermon

How To Structure A Sticky Sermon

If your sermon isn’t sticky, it won’t stay with those who hear it. If your sermon isn’t sticky, it’ll bounce off them and be lost forever.

Crafting a sermon that is memorable involves utilizing some vital ingredients. Those are:

  1. It solves a problem
  2. It’s true
  3. It’s helpful
  4. It’s focused
  5. It’s action-oriented

In order to craft a sticky sermon or a sermon that is memorable, you have to structure your message in a way that naturally includes these five vital ingredients. The following sermon structure will make your next sermon sticky. It will stick with your congregation because it naturally includes each vital ingredient of a sticky sermon.

How to Structure a Sticky Sermon


Begin your sermon with a story, an interesting fact, a provocative quote. Don’t just start your sermon slow, but say something that will get people to look at you and pay attention to what you’re saying. You have a very limited time to engage your listeners so that they will stick with you throughout the message. Think long and hard about how you can do your best to get their attention.


From engage, you need to move to tension. What you’re doing here is bringing up some kind of problem. If you engage the congregation with something related to life as a single person, you should create tension around being single. It’s important to do your best to make sure what you say in engage is related to your message as a whole. This will naturally allow you to create tension. The tension you create should make people lean in and give them an opportunity to anticipate the tension being resolved.

This is the time where people realize how your message will be helpful to them. An easy way to start is to engage and create tension around felt needs. From there you can move to the next section which will strive to resolve the tension. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t strive to resolve the tension so quickly. Be sure to be patient in resolving the tension.


Once you have engaged the congregation and presented some kind of tension, you can now go to God’s word in order to resolve the tension. This is where you set the context for the text at hand and where you walk through the text and teach the congregation what it says. Don’t rush through this. Make sure you make God’s truth the center of your message.

Happening in conjunction with truth is the next section. It should happen naturally as you are teaching through Scripture and come to a point after you teach through Scripture.

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Brandon Kelley is the co-founder of Rookie Preacher and the author of Preaching Sticky Sermons and Crucified to Life. He serves as the Lead Pastor of First Church of Christ in Bluffton, IN. He also writes at BrandonKelley.org. You can follow him @BrandonKelley_. Watch his sermons here.