Sermon Construction Class – I am thankful to God for Professor Henry Reyenga and his team for providing me the facility to learn this great sermon construction class . This sermon construction class is really blessing
for me because I knew Bible but did not what was the exact way of preparing messages. Often I felt that something was missing in my messages but by the Grace of God and by the help of this wonderful class I am surprised that in a very short time I have learnt many things which are very much essential for sermon preparations.
In first week I learned that what are the different approaches to for a good sermon i.e. Illustration, Speaking Techniques, efforts, creational insights, historical messages, participation, quizzes etc.
I am very much impressed by Pastor John Piper who gave me insight about preaching. I learned from him that preaching is expository as well as exultation. The Bible is the word of God which should be explained in depth and all Glory is only for God. The center of all messages should be our Lord Jesus Christ and His way of Salvation.
How should be the beginning of the sermon was taught by Professor Henry Reyenga. He taught what is seed, what is the soil and only Holy Spirit can make the sermon effective. We can preach as prophet, as priest, as king and each one have his own quality and effectiveness.
Sermon selection is very important and this was very useful for me that what kind of audience is there, what the occasion is, what the place is and finally what the need of that time is. I will follow these rules for choosing passage for my sermon.
Karen Friedman provides very useful tips for attractive message. One thing was very useful for me that we must start from what listeners want to listen and rest of the information will follow. The four points are very useful i.e. wear their shoes, Fire alarm approach, pace and pitch and practice. If we telling something exciting we must be excited too, otherwise listeners will not be exited.
I also learnt that nothing works better than a story, vivid illustration, or pithy quote to draw your people in. The trick is to choose an illustration that is relevant to our sermon. I love the sermons of Pastor Francis Chan.
The messages of Dr. Billy Graham are just like a complete class of study. I learnt a lot from his gestures, hand movements and expressions. One more thing I notices from his messages that he preaches with full authority and confidently. His message, “choices” was great.
This was very interesting for me to learn how to use our hands in delivering messages. The following things I learnt:
Hands movement play very important role expressing your thoughts. Experts tell us body language accounts for between 55% and 65% of our communication.
Gestures: use hands, arms, shoulders, torso, legs, feet or a combination of these. • Hands are most common Appropriate hand gestures aid more. I learnt that we should avoid these things:
- Holding your notes.
- Anxious hand.
- Gripping the pulpit.
- Clenching hands,
- Fiddling with clothing or touching a body part.
- Avoid same hand gestures.
In the beginning show enthusiasm for being there and introduce new topics. Practice it in front of mirror or make movie and see it latter to find out your mistakes.
I learned A formula for powerful illustrations:
Start with something familiar + Reveal something unfamiliar about that thing + Connect the unfamiliar – but now understood – part of the illustration to the spiritual truth you want to communicate.
The familiar part is critical because it enables your hearers to visualize what you are saying. Nailing your point home by relating it to your message is a non-negotiable.
Why this works: Adding something new to what is already known accomplishes two things.
First, it creates a sense of awe and wonder. It’s the “I never knew that” effect.
Second, surprising your hearers with something new disposes them to receive even more of something new. Thus, you prepare the way for your main goal: hitting their hearts with spiritual truth.
A disclaimer Like all formulas, nothing is guaranteed.
If you try to plug in boring details and far reaching connections to your passage, this formula will not work for you. It’s not meant to make stupid illustrations stunning.
However, if you let the formula guide you as you brainstorm killer illustrations for your sermons, you will notice a steady increase in the impact your sermons make from week to week.
Types of illustrations that apply this formula
What are some ways to use this formula effectively? Here are seven, off the top of my head.
1. Illustrations that reveal the marvels of nature or science.
2. Illustrations that provide behind the scenes info of a well-known historical event.
3. Illustrations that show how an everyday device works.
4. Illustrations that quote lines from popular songs or movies that unknowingly reflect the gospel. Or if the quote is far from the gospel, but reflects the worldview of our culture, show how the gospel confronts those ideas.
5. Illustrations that turn common clichés on their head, or prove their accuracy in an astounding way.
6. Illustrations that show how a major feat was accomplished, or why it was unfortunately left unfinished.
7. Illustrations from the life of famous politicians, businesspeople, entertainers, etc.
Of the making of illustrations there is no end…
There are lots of sermon illustrations that are effective. I’m not saying these are the only effective ones. But when you are in a tight spot, reaching for just the right illustration, I think this formula will give you the boost you need.
This course told us how to conclude the message effectively:
“The conclusion should not merely recapitulate your sermon—it should apply it. Obviously, you should be applying all along, but you should keep something for the end which will prevail upon your people to take action. “No summons, no sermon.” Preach through the head to the heart (i.e. the will). The goal of the sermon should be to “storm the citadel of the will and capture it for Jesus Christ. What do you want them to do? Employ a variety of methods to do this:
- 1. Argument—anticipate objections and refute them.
2. Admonition— warn of the consequences of disobedience.
3. Indirect Conviction—arouse moral indignation and then turn it on them (Nathan with David).
4. Pleading—apply the gentle pressure of God’s love, concern for their well-being, and the needs of others.
5. Vision—paint a picture of what is possible through obedience to God in this area.”
Always point back to Christ. Offer an opportunity to receive Christ and expect people to respond.
– End with emotional intensity. Preach through the head to the heart. Once you’ve informed their minds, you must touch their emotions and challenge their wills. Your conclusion should be the emotional high point of the sermon.
– Ask for a specific response. Nothing becomes dynamic until it becomes specific. The goal of the sermon should be to storm the citadel of the will and capture it for Jesus Christ. Here are some ways to do that:
- Use an argument. Anticipate the objections the audience might have and logically refute them.
- Use a warning. Warn them of the consequences of disobedience.
- Use indirect conviction. A good example is the story of Nathan and David (2 Samuel 12).
- Use compassion. Express God’s love and concern for them and others.
- Use vision. Paint a picture of what is possible if they obey God. Help them to have faith.
- Use encouragement. Tell them they can do this with God’s power.
- Make it personal. The person listening should feel like you are only talking to him or her.
- Restate your major points forcefully. You reinforce the truth by summarizing it.
- Use a compelling illustration. This helps to make the message memorable.
- Use a piercing question. This engages people in processing and applying the message.
- Use surprise. The best conclusions sneak up on congregations rather than being obvious and expected
I am sure, now I can improve my sermon delivery and can work in God’s field more effectively. I will use all techniques in my practical ministry for the Glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. I want to win more and more souls for my Lord Jesus Christ. I am very much thankful for CLI and its all team for providing me great training.
I am so thankful for Professor Henry Reyenga whom God provided this vision. God bless CLI and its team.