The art of a sermon is a wonderful talent. There are those who stick to a three points and a poem format. This is called the university structure. There is the Calvin structure of explaining the text, pulling out the doctrine of the text, and applying the doctrine to the world. These are both the common structures that some preachers employ. A sermon is better if there is flow to the narrative. Often preachers force a structure onto the text instead of allowing the text to determine structure. A lot of times a preacher will begin the sermon with a joke, a tactic to trick the members into listening. This is weak at best. The best beginning is one that uses tension. You are creating a reason to listen. After the joke is over, the sermon is over for some of the members. Also, the shifts in a sermon are highly important. A good story does not make for a good story in a sermon. All the elements of the sermon must flow well. There must be consistency with the message. Also, the conclusion must be the climax. I have heard too many preachers explain the conclusion, going over the conclusion too many times at the end of the lesson. Stick the conclusion and let the sermon speak for itself. It does not have to have this huge, powerful conclusion, the cumulative work of preaching will address this. One sermon is not going to do all the work that must be done.
Here are the keys to a better sermon:
1. Tension in the sermon.
2. Proper transitions through the sermon.
3. A climax conclusion.
- The Problems with Structure in Sermons
- The Mega Story in Sermons
- Three Shifts in Sermons
- How to Use Commentaries in Sermons
- Movement In Sermons