Sermon Preparation

Important Steps in Sermon Preparation: A Pastor’s Perspective – Part 1

It Starts with a Conviction – If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire  shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot. Jeremiah 20:9 (ESV) Somewhere duri... Read More »

The Expositor in the Pulpit – Part 6

NOTE: This article is an excerpt from an excellent little book on preaching, The Expositor in the Pulpit, by the Greek scholar Marvin R. Vincent. The book is the content of his lectures given to students at Union Theological Seminary in 1884. The book is a mu... Read More »

The Expositor in the Pulpit – Part 5

NOTE: This article is an excerpt from an excellent little book on preaching, The Expositor in the Pulpit, by the Greek scholar Marvin R. Vincent. The book is the content of his lectures given to students at Union Theological Seminary in 1884. The book is a mu... Read More »

Crafting the Sermon’s Conclusion

Final words are often defining words. Remember the thief on the cross? He was apparently guilty of crimes deserving of death, crimes that defined his life and determined his death. Then he said these words (Luke 23:42), “Jesus, remember me when you come into... Read More »

Crafting the Sermon’s Introduction

 “It is the same with men as with donkeys: whoever would hold them fast must get a very good grip on their ears.” – Russian Proverb So it is for the introduction to a sermon. The preacher must capture the listener quickly. It is vital for the opening wo... Read More »

Exhortation: Functions of a Text-Driven Sermon

While a student at the Moody Bible Institute I was challenged by Dr. George Sweeting in the area of preaching. He said, “Do not fill them with the Word, thrill them with the Word.” Preaching should pack a spiritual punch. It’s not a talk, a speech, or si... Read More »

Applying the Text: Functions of a Text-Driven Sermon

Engaging exposition that is faithful to Scripture will not only explain the text, it will, of biblical and theological necessity, apply the text. It will be God-centered and Christ-focused even as it exhorts hearers to respond, react, and conform to the messag... Read More »

Illustrating the Text: Functions of a Text-Driven Sermon

It was June 1988, the city was San Antonio, Texas, and it was my first Southern Baptist Convention as a pastor. That year much in Baptist life hung in the balance, with many wondering about the direction of convention?  My former preaching professor at Southw... Read More »

Explaining the Text: Functions of a Text-Driven Sermon

Is there meaning in the text? Has God actually spoken in Scripture? These questions float around the academy, but they are more than academic. These questions frame a larger conversation in the culture about the nature of truth.  While people have these quest... Read More »

Crafting the Sermon’s Communication Outline

In their book, Power in the Pulpit: How to Prepare and Deliver Expository Messages, Jerry Vines and Jim Shaddix explain how an effective expository sermon must experience two births—once in the preacher’s study and then again in the preacher’s delivery. ... Read More »