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

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

Most sermons I watch tend to lose people in the same three areas:

Act One: The first 90 seconds where they fail to engage people

Acts Two: The 10-minute mark when people don’t sense there’s going to be a payoff for listening any longer

Act Three: The 20-minute mark when everyone in the room (except the preacher) looks at the clock and wonders when this plane will land.

The “angst” people feel when they listen to a poorly designed sermon stems from the fact that the preacher has ignored the way God designed human beings to process oratorical presentations.

Hack into that design, write sermons that follow the subconscious logic of it, and you’ll not only get people to pay attention. You’ll get them to change their behavior in Jesus’ name.

Introduction. Explanation. Application. – Step-By-Step

For lack of a sexier phrase, I call the sermon writing process that I use and teach based on this three-act structure: “Introduction. Explanation. Application.”

At this point, the most helpful way I can teach you how to write a sermon using this method is to briefly go through the steps of writing a message right now and comment along the way.

So, imagine for a moment that we’re sitting side by side at your desk, looking at your computer monitor, and we’re ready to rock and roll.

7 Steps to Effective Preaching

1. Set your document up for a sermon.

I always use 13-point Arial font and put the page numbers in the top-right hand corner.

I always put the relevant sermon information in bold in the top left-hand corner.

Here’s mine from this Sunday:

The Happiness Challenge
Message #4 “The Happiness Challenge”
CCV, 02-11-18
Brian Jones

2. Craft the set welcome statement that you will use with every sermon.

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brianjones@churchleaders.com'
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.