In my previous lesson, you have been given 5 reasons why you need a sermon manuscript. Today, I will be discussing the parts of sermon manuscripts and hoping that you will be able to see how sermon manuscripts are outlined.
Title – Every sermon has a title. This will give the audience an initial picture of what your sermon is all about. It will also give you the advantage of properly storing your files since you also know what it is about.
Passage – Every sermon also has a passage. This is where you get the idea of your sermon. It is the foundation of the sermon that you are about to deliver. Even if you are going to deliver a narrative sermon, it is imperative that you get the main lesson from the Bible. Remember, you will nullify the sermon if it did not came from the Bible.
Introduction – Preaching students used to give a very good introduction on the passage that they are exegeting. They usually get and extract a good introduction from the book where they are getting their passage from. If you do have a Study Bible, you will find the background of the book, the author, the context, and the reason why that particular book was written.
Giving an introduction will give your listeners a brief picture of what it is about. It will make your sermon a lot clearer.
Sometimes, a very good illustration that is relevant to a sermon can be a good introduction. This depends on the preacher. Should you decide to give a scholarly study as your introduction, that’s fine too. As long as it contributes to the main message of the sermon.
Main Points – This is already the main body of your sermon manuscript. Perhaps the most important part of it. Your main points should be enough to give understanding in relation to your sermon. It should be understandable enough that even without the body of the main points, it’s clear enough that it is about it. This is where you put your exegesis.
Some preachers uses an acronym as their main points, some uses rhythm, some uses the same first 2 words to make it uniform. There are many ways to make your points creative and understandable. Just make sure that they are relevant and well connected with the title.
Illustration – Illustrations are very powerful tool in making your point to a particular main point of your sermon. You can use your previous experiences, story, quotes, excerpts from famous authors and people, Bible verse, or even Bible stories.
Illustrations can help your audience understand what you are pinpointing. Some powerful illustrations are even more remembered that the main point of the sermon. So make sure that whatever you use, it’s something that will help your audience understand and remember your sermon.
Application – After your illustration, application is needed for each point. Your illustration is the bridge between your exegesis and your application. That means your application is the mini-conclusion of that particular point. So make sure that you summarize what you learn in the body of the point and your illustration. It should contain what can be learned from it.
Conclusion / Challenge – This part is the overall summary of the sermon. When you end your sermon, it’s not just an application, it is what the people should be doing after hearing the sermon. You will want them to have a personal response to the message that they just read. So make sure that your challenge or conclusion is not just a plain summary.
Challenge your listeners to take actions on what they have heard. This is one of the most important things that you should not neglect when having a sermon.
So what to do now?
I strongly suggest that whenever you make a sermon, you write a sermon manuscript. You can actually use other formats depending on what you need. But these parts are pretty important if you want it to be more useful in the future.
What we want to build or write is something that we can improve, reuse, or even share to other people. And these parts makes your sermon manuscript even more important.