Home Pastors Articles for Pastors A Guide to Effective Preaching – Introduction. Explanation. Application.

A Guide to Effective Preaching – Introduction. Explanation. Application.

Introduction. Explanation. Application. – A More Effective Way to Write Sermons

Give me 10 minutes, and I’ll teach you an approach to effective preaching that might be a game-changer. This is an approach that can be used with any preaching archetype, any personality, any length of message, any passage, etc.

Your Guide to Effective Preaching

In seminary, I was taught the “three-point” outline, which I quickly abandoned after about a year of preaching. Then I experimented with Andy Stanley’s well-known Me-We-God-You-We outline. After a year or so I found it didn’t work very well for me either.

The Limitations of Me-We-God-You-We

Since Andy’s outline is by far the most popular approach taught among evangelical preachers, I assumed that everyone who used it felt it fit them like a glove. That is until I started coaching Senior Pastors.

What I’ve discovered is that the majority of the Senior Pastors I coached who used the Me-We-God-You-We outline later admitted that they felt like David trying to use Saul’s armor.

But not initially though.

Initially, leaders who used Andy’s outline told me, “The Me-You… thing works great for me.” Then I started digging around and asking a whole bunch of uncomfortable questions. And read their last 10 messages. And watched their last 10 sermons. And got feedback from their staff and congregation.

That’s when I realized “works great for me” is a phrase used by preachers who have been too busy and exhausted to do a deep dive into how they are wired to preach.

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I’m the founding Senior Pastor of Christ’s Church of the Valley in the suburbs of Philadelphia. In 13 years the church has grown from a small group in my home to over 2,000 incredible people. Before that I served in churches of 25 to 600 in attendance. I love church planters and pastors of smaller churches, and totally understand the difficult challenges they face as they try to help people find their way back to God.