Sermon outline, Why use it?

Sermon Outline

Resume: This article explains the thinking and strategy of using a sermon outline when preaching sermons.

Sermon outline, What is it?

A sermon outline is simply a guide to where you will logically “go” (speak) during a discourse. The options here are limited. (1) You use some kind of guide (a sermon outline). (2) You speak without any guide, just entering with a general topic to which you do not hold alliegance to follow, but rather wander from topic to topic.

Some preachers actually think that the later is somehow “being guided by the Holy Spirit”, and that is the only valid way to preach. We have no evidence really as to public speakers using or not using these “topical guides”. Dr. Bob Jones Jr. used this later strategy, and his defense was, “A sermon outline is like a skeleton. When you see a person’s bones, something is very wrong.

While this thinking is actually popular among a lot of preachers, and many preachers who use sermon outlines actually break from their outline regularly holding this thinking as “a moving of the Holy Spirit”, the thinking is really not that great. It is flawed, and has a lot of problems. First of all, Dr. Bob Jones Jr had a lot of preaching experience and exposure (his dad was an evangelist so he grew up in the element of preaching). People like that have from where to draw from. Experienced preachers who have more than 10 or 20 years of preaching “under their belt” can preach extemporaneously and can “pull it off”. Most others fail when trying, and even experienced preachers have their problems when preaching without thinking through what they are saying. Not that last comment. Preachers that have preached on salvation hundreds of times can stand up without notes and do fine. But that is not to say that they did not prepare, it is to say that after preparing and preaching so many times on the same topic, to comment on it from memory is very easy and can be done very successfully.

A sermon outline is simply a prepared list of thoughts and verses that the preacher uses to guide his presentation.

There are two key issues to clarify in using a sermon outline: (1) Does an outline hinder the Holy Spirit? (2) Is an outline necessary and serve an essential purpose?

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What is the purpose of a Sermon? Part 4 Curiosity or life change

By Pastor David Cox

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 (posts 5/1/20)

What is the purpose of a sermon? This is an extremely important question to answer as far as the philosophy going on in the preacher’s head before we talk about any specific sermon or sermon creation in general.

Are sermons simply information classes where people are informed about the Bible as a piece of literature? Or are sermons actually persuasive dialogs with the purpose of changing people’s moral character. — David Cox

In reality, the vast majority of preachers do not present their sermons as something that could or is designed intelligently and with craft and expertise to change moral character. If that is their purpose, then they fail miserably at that because most people hearing the sermon cannot discern what that call to action is in the sermon.

Within speech development and craft, the term “call to action” is used with the idea that the entire presentation has some kind of point to it, something that the speaker wants the hearer or reader to do after they finish their speech. In business, a call to action is that the speaker wants the buy something. In the sermon in a church, the preacher who is designing his sermon correctly is wanting the congregation to make a moral decision about something he is presenting in his sermon.

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Death of Biblical Missions

In the Death of Biblical Missions, I describe what I (as a missionary) see as the death of biblical missions in America. I am very critical of stuff here, so be prepared.

Death of Biblical Missions

Death of Biblical Missions
By David Cox (missionary pastor)

In this article I describe what I (as a missionary) see as the death of biblical missions in America. I am very critical of stuff here, so be prepared. I am going to explain things as I see them. Note: I have been a missionary since 1984, and I have both been under a mission board, and am presently an independent missionary under a local church. I have been on both sides of the board issue, and I will speak to this also. I do consider myself doing “Biblical Missions” the correct way.

Firstly, let me address the reason why this topic is important. Missions is very simply the reproduction of the entirity of Christianity in new places where the gospel is not named, or having been named in the place, is currently dead. America has gone from being a missionary sending country to being a missionary needing country in my lifetime. How sad.

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