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

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

Here’s the same 20-second introduction for all of my sermons:

“Good morning, my name is Brian Jones, and I’m the Senior Pastor here at CCV.

I’d like to welcome all of our guests here today!

And I’d like to say hello to everyone watching this online.
…we know most people will check us out online before they ever visit
…so, we really look forward to seeing you soon…

I want to start today by…”

The reason I start this way is that 1,700 people will view my sermon live this Sunday, but 5,000+ people will view it next week (70 percent on their phones, 30 percent on a desktop). I always want to greet the person watching online. Words marked in red font are reminders for me to look into the camera. When my sermon is finished I’ll go back and highlight two to three places on each page in bold red where I want to remind myself to speak directly into the camera.

3. Next, type the words INTRODUCTION, EXPLANATION and APPLICATION in all caps, underline them and put “(10 minutes)” in parentheses after each.

INTRODUCTION (10 minutes)

EXPLANATION (10 minutes)

APPLICATION (10 minutes)

Yes, that means each section will only be 10 minutes, and yes, that means you will preach under 30 minutes, or you will die.

4. Pick out the central idea from your Bible text, turn that into an action statement, and place it at the bottom of your document.

If I were sitting next to you the very next thing I’d do is ask you to determine the central idea of your message.

Let’s say you are preaching on evangelism and you’re using 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 as your passage. I’d ask you what the central idea is in that passage, and you’d say it is found in verse 22,

“I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.”

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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.