By Brandon Kelley
Before you preach your next sermon, take the time to answer these six questions. If you do, you’ll have greater clarity for the content of the message and the congregation will have greater clarity for the expected action from the message.
So pastor, grab your sermon and ask God for wisdom as you dive into these questions.
Six Key Questions to Ask of Your Sermon Before You Preach it.
1. Are my first five minutes interesting?
If you follow our sticky sermon structure, you’ll know that you’re asking this question of the engage section of your sermon.
We want to evaluate whether or not our first five minutes will cause people to lean in and take interest in what we’re sharing. This could be done with an interesting personal story, a shocking fact or a joke that connects to the message. Whatever your introduction contains, make sure that it’s interesting (and obviously connected to the rest of the message). Interesting for interesting’s sake is pointless.
2. Do I show the importance of the subject?
Next, move to the tension section of the sermon where we’re moving from interesting to important and setting up our time of digging into the Scriptures.
Here we want to bring up the problem we face when it comes to the point of the text. We’re simply priming the pump for moving into the biblical passage we are going to look at. For example, if you’re preaching on Galatians 6:2 (bear one another’s burdens…) you could talk about the tension between knowing that we need to share what we are going through with others, but fearing what they may do with the information we give. It’s a tension that can be resolved once you move into the text; namely, it’s a two-way street, and in doing so, we fulfill the law of Christ.
3. Am I giving a complete picture of the truth?
We call this the truth section of the sermon. This is where we dive into the passage of Scripture we are focusing on, do good biblical exegesis and help the congregation be in the text. Help them see what the original hearers or the people in the narrative saw. Help them feel what they felt.
When we ask this question, we’re really wanting to evaluate whether or not we are being true to the original intended meaning, putting the passage into the grand narrative of Scripture, and preaching the Gospel from the passage (here’s how to preach the Gospel every time).
4. Where does this intersect with life today?
It’s time for application. We want to move from the original intended meaning by using good hermeneutics and move to how this passage intersects with the here and now in a day-to-day kind of way.
Here we want to help people see that Scripture speaks directly to our lives in an intimate way. God’s truth is timely and timeless. Here we begin to move to that timeless truth that should propel us to some sort of response. We show what that response looks like generally and share our big idea/bottom line/main point of the sermon here.
5. What’s a powerful picture?
Specifically, we want to inspire through imagining or showing what life would look like if we allowed God to do this work in us that the passage speaks of (or responded in a certain way to the text or took an action—like bearing one another’s burdens).
Here our goal is to put feet to the future. If God used this sermon to do something in us, what could that look like? Help people see!
6. What should happen now?
When the rubber meets the road, where do we go? How do we go? What happens now? We want to help people take action. We should always call people to take action in response to our sermons.
Go to God in prayer and ask Him for wisdom in where to go here. If someone were to take action on Monday morning in response to the sermon, what would that action look like? Be specific.
This article originally appeared here.