Sermon Preparation for Student Pastors
Objective, to give a Student Pastor the ability to get the most out of His/Her preaching opportunity.
1. Prayer is first and foremost in any and all forms of worship, how can you Preach Jesus without the Spirit’s Guidance. Study as you pray, meditate on the Word, God will direct you. God will give you a topic, study, focus on the Word, prayerfully continue, God will answer.
2. So now you have your topic, now here are your objectives/points. Your opening statement should include such items as your text/scripture, who wrote it and its title. The next several items should be considered in your manuscript.
3. What era or when was it written?
4. To whom did the writer write to?
5. Who was the intended recipient? Note: not always the same person or group.
6. What was the point or lesson?
7. What exactly was it saying to the recipient?
8. Point made to the recipient? More than one point is ok, provided you stay on track. Many lessons are holding many points, use as few as possible to keep you points clear and in the memory of the congregation.
9. How was it delivered? Try to determine the attitude of the “preacher or messenger”. Nurturing, Warning, Loving, representing the Anger or Mercy of God…
10. Was it symbolic in nature? What does the symbolism represent then and or today? Learn the Biblical symbolism, many things in the Bible are not clear until you learn what they're symbolic of. Many online sites teach symbolism.
11. How did the recipient receive the message?
12. What was the attitude of recipient as he/she received the message? Receptive, rejected, anger, confusion?
13. What was the outcome of this message, whether or not accepted? Note: For every action there is a reaction, what was it?
14. What did the intended recipient learn or gather from the given lesson?
15. We’ve covered what it’s intention and motive was for the given time. What life application can we receive from it? What can your congregation take home from it?
16. What point is for us today? How can we learn from the lesson? What comparable items can we determine from that day when the message was delivered originally to the message you will deliver?
17. Closing statements should include a very short covering of main topics and points as well as the end statements. Don’t drag it out. Make your point and end it. Consider your point, your intended message, your heart felt lesson you were delivering, end in as few words as possible, providing you’re covering the main objective. Make the end close around the beginning. Wrap it up, beginning point to the end point.
Keeping in mind, Seminary Teachings tell us to keep the people focused, making our points in a reasonable amount of time. Don’t give your congregation a reason to get upset, if you have a 20 min sermon, start it at 11:40, try to end on time. Why, because you never want to give the Devil a tool to use against you. Example, the Spirit is calling a child to Him, your running 10 minutes over. The long breaths and the men checking their watches high enough for you to see them can stop a person from coming to the Altar. Don’t make time an issue. By the same point, follow the Voice of God, if He’s giving you more ammo, use it and forget the time. YOU follow God, the Spirit is in Charge of the Message, NOT YOU. Believe it or not, the Spirit will deal with the baby Christians if you’re truly following Him (Spirit).
Now, back to preparation. Pin and Paper, Clip board or Microsoft Word, I could care less, but here’s the way it’s done.
Go to point number one, hopefully you have a few days to prep for your Sermon. Deal with point #1 fully. Move on to #2. Put it on paper, each thought, each item, preach it on paper, yes, preach it on paper. Use as many of our 17 steps as possible, close it on paper. Read it out loud, this is important; you must read it out loud. Three times you are to do this, read it out loud. Now, that you’re very well versed on your message, Top Theological Professors tell you that the paper you hold in your hand is a Sermon Manuscript. You’re to stick to your Sermon Manuscript, I know many who are Manuscript Preachers, some of which are fantastic, and they read with emotion, with Spirit, with Zeal. I love them, but nothing will turn your people off faster than a monotone reading of you message for 20 minutes.
Now, keeping in mind I’ve been doing this for a while, I know the material, I follow my plan, I write my manuscript and I LEAVE IT AT HOME. I take the Word/Bible and go back over my manuscript and write down all the main points, that’s all I take to the pulpit with me, my Bible and a small card with my notes on it. Preach the Word, get excited, and get your people excited, this is Spiritual Movement, not you trying to get an award for acting. Get on fire for God, your message will show it. It will also show it if you don’t. Don’t try to stay behind the podium, you may go back to it for your next point, but don’t try to be professional, people don’t care if your professional, they care that your Spiritual. That’s what they came for.
Now take your Word (Bible), your notes and short list. Then Go to your private place and preach your message, preach to a mirror or a wall, preach to your pet, don’t get offended if they run away. That’s a good sign, if you’re getting serious, the pet may think you scolding them, GOOD THING HERE. Sometimes your congregation needs encouragement, sometimes they and you need the “scolding” of your message.
Food for thought; you’re a Messenger of God Himself. There is no Job more important on the face of the Earth. A Doctor fails and the body dies. If a preacher fails often a Soul goes to Hell. The people are depending on God. God is using you. Don’t forget, EVERYONE is watching you, the Preacher. Every word, every bit of attitude, your caring, your cleanliness, how you handle your family, your anger, your Spirit level, everything is a representation now of God, not just you. Breath mints are always wise. Live as though God is being judged in your life, because that’s just the way it is.
Help or questions are just an email away. I get lots of mail so it may take a day or so to get to them all, but I will respond.