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”