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Sunday Sermons Preaching Resources - Sermon Outlines

Sermon Outlines and How to Construct Your Sunday Sermon.

The secret to creating a great sermon is a good beginning, a good ending, and delivering the two as close together as possible -- it's humorously said. Of course, every preacher agrees that a great sermon requires a good beginning and ending. But what's most important is the inspiration, direction, and encouragement offered in the middle.

What Makes a Great Sermon?

There is no such thing as a one size fits all approach to preaching. Preachers differ from one another in talent in style and many other ways. So too, do the members of their congregations. And all come together to participate in the worship experience in their uniqueness. Different attitudes, different expectations, different degrees of interest, intensity, and enthusiasm. Different distractions. Moreover, these differences are subject to constant change -- from moment-to-moment, from day-to-day, from week-to-week. Consequently, from Sunday-to-Sunday, there is in every church a new and different congregation, as well as a new and different preacher.

From week-to-week, for better or for worse, there is change. Nothing remains the same except the immutable Word of God, which comes into our midst. And from week to week, both the changing preacher and the changing congregation move in one of two directions -- for better or for worse, depending on the state of their love affair with the Word that dwells among them.

"There is no changing the word of God," wrote the apostle Paul. The Word of God is unchained: it issues commands; it predicts events; it consoles and reprimands; it stems off evil; it inspires; it blesses. In short, it makes things happen.

The Word of God is a creative force. It gives us life. And from moment-to-moment and week-to-week, it shows us the way to New Life.

From moment-to-moment and week-to-week, the question arises: are we ready to receive this message of new life that comes from God? Are we willing to position ourselves before God in a way that acknowledges our total dependence on Him -- not only for life but for the way of life? Are we ready and willing to reverse our values and reorder our priorities to harmonize our life with the Will of God who became one of us to show us how much he loves us?

God loves you. You have his Word for it. And he is waiting for you to respond lovingly to this healing message. That is the Word from God. You can proclaim it in a thousand different ways. But whether your sermon outlines evoke tears or generate laughter, the message remains the same. In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word is immutable, and the Word is now, and the Word is Love.

How To Use the Sermon Outlines on this Website

Consider any of the sermon outlines and full-text sermons on this site as a resource for the preparation of your original message. Read the Sunday Sermon outline as it presented on this site and consult other materials such as our extensive collection of almost 20,000 sermon illustrations.

It is suggested that you adapt the general structure and approach of the sermon and prepare your version as a detailed sermon outlines or full-text message. Consider using two or more sermons on related topics to construct your sermon outline or adapt material from more than one sermon using our topical or scripture index.

Whenever possible, express the thoughts of the sermon outline in your own words. Add illustrations and sprinkle references based on your own experience and the needs of your people.

Above all, never forget that delivering the Word of God to your people is found not in your eloquence, but in the hearing of God's Word. The fundamental difference between a speech and a sermon is that a sermon evolves from the preacher’s encounter with the Word.

Elements of the sermon should often include exposition, exhortation, and practical application. Keep these elements top of mind as you create an outline of your message. Think of the outline as the bones of the sermon. The outline sets forth the texture of the sermonand helps to move from one thought to next. In an extensive study of preaching, one recurring complaint from the congregation is that sermons are too complicated. The sermon outlines is where you address that complaint.

Start with a strong introduction. The most effective preachers understand the importance of a strong introduction. This is where you grab the listener into the theme of your text.

1. Introduce your sermon: tell your people what you are going to cover and why it's essential or how it is relevant.

You may include an illustration or humorous story about what it does or does not mean. Use a starting point related to scripture or an event that propels the main idea.

2. Teach the message by developing it (exposition). Explain the Scripture in ways the congregation can relate to. Give examples from Scripture. Provide practical application of the Scripture to everyday life. Use powerful, relevant sermon illustrations including humor, where appropriate.

3. Conclude with issuing a strong call to action (exhortation) which relates to the Scripture and topic. This is the invitation to the people to carry forth the message in the sermon and apply the it to their everyday lives.

To all who labor in this humbling challenge of preaching, it is our sincere hope that these sermon outlines will be valuable to the preaching ministry and a reliable resource for helping to make things happen in lives of preachers and their congregations, both.

The Editors