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Preaching Training

Structuring a Sermon


– Grant Crawford

Luke 24:27 – “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”


  • Preaching themes
  • Preaching line by line
  • Preaching with one big idea in mind
  • Preaching length
  • Introductions, conclusions
  • Moving from one big idea to another


Preparing a sermon

The study which brings out the intended meaning of words and sentences is called EXEGESIS.

Prayer, time and effort need to be married to sound methods of interpretation. Avoiding any of these is likely to produce less than sound interpretation.


  1. Select passage
  2. Study your passage and gather your notes
  • The context: i.e. the passage sits within a chapter or book and has a historical setting
  • The importance of a BIG idea: there can be numerous sub-points, but a big idea is essential. You need to recognise the main subject and how the idea develops in the text.
    • To get the big idea, ask… What is the writer talking about? Then when you develop the idea, ask “What am I talking about with this idea.”
  1. To understand the meaning of a text –  ask 3 Questions
  • What does it mean? What is the original, plain meaning
  •  Prove it. I.e. is it true that it means that?
    • Check meaning against sound theology in other texts
  • What difference does that make? I.e. apply it.
    • What do modern listeners share with the original listeners
    • can we identify with the original Bible people’s responses/ failures
  1. State the big idea in the most memorable way possible with the audience in mind
  • Make each word count
  • Chose words they will remember
  • In a way, they know you are talking to them
  1. Determine the purpose of the sermon: e.g. into connect group, saved etc
  2. Decide how to accomplish the purpose:
  • Story or deductive ( proving your thesis), or inductive ( develop an argument, build a case)

Outline the sermon

  • Usually: intro, body, conclusion

Filling the sermon outline

  • Restate ideas
  • Define, explain
  • Factual info
  • Illustration

Prep your intro and conclusion

  • Introductions uncover needs, get attention, and introduce the body of the sermon.


  • Like landing a plane, are very Nb: summary, revisit the need/ question.