One of my favourite activities as a pastor is the writing and preaching of sermons. I love finding the intersection between biblical truth and the real needs of my congregation.
But what should a sermon look like? How many points should there be? My homiletics professor in seminary suggested that every sermon should have at least one point. That sounds like good advice.
I don’t have just one template that I use for structuring a sermon. I like to change things up and each passage lends itself to a different style. These are the four structures that I use most.
- I still use the three point sermons style from time to time. It has become a bit of a cliche but sometimes things are a cliche because they work. There are certain passages that include three movements or have three sub-points to the main point. I see no reason not to take advantage of this when it is appropriate.
- I sometimes use two points, with the first point being a discussion of the original meaning of the text and the second being the application. This works best when the passage has one simple point that is not clarified by breaking into sub-points.
- There are other times that I expand this structure into a four point message. The first two points are the problem and solution in the text and the third and fourth are the problem and solution in our context.
- I call this one the blog-style sermon, although it has been around much longer than blogs. It is structured as “Five things we learn about…” or “Six ways to…” and so on. I blog more like this than preach, but from time to time it works for a passage and it is a nice change.
I have done other styles as well. I have blended preaching with drama or monologue in the past, but not recently. I’m considering revisiting that style.
What about you? How do you structure your sermons?