Thursday, July 8, 2010
ON WRITING A SERMON OUTLINE
On writing a sermon outline, we have to use the S.C.O.P.E method. This makes the sermon preparation much easier. All we have to do after reading the lessons for the day (OT, Gospel, Epistle) is to determine first the key text. For example, after reading Luke 10:38-42 (the Gospel reading on the 7th after Trinity), we decide to pick verse 5 as the key verse: "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled of many things, but only one thing is needful". Then we begin to work on the outline by choosing the S - SUBJECT of our sermon. Choose only ONE SUBJECT for every sermon. Too many subjects is difficult to handle and our hearers will also have difficulty in following our presentation. The subject is only ONE WORD but descriptive, for example - HEAR. The next step is to determine the C - CENTRAL THEME which sets the scope, the limit and the focus of our sermon, or example: ONE THING IS NEEDFUL. The heading of our sermon outline would then look like this:
7th Sunday after Trinity
TEXT: "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled of many things, but one thing is needful"
CENTRAL THEME: ONE THING IS NEEDFUL
The fourth step is to determine the O -OBJECTIVE of our sermon. Every sermon delivery should have a very clear objective. This sets the direction, the focus and the goal we want to
attain, for example:
OBJECTIVE: So that the people will be convinced to give the best of their time listening intently
every time God's Words is preached.
The final step is the writing of the P-PRESENTATION which is made up of Biblico-Theological
E -EXPOSITION to complete the S.C.O.P.E.
The presentation is composed of three parts.
1. BUILD-UP. Instead of calling this as Introduction, I prefer to call it Build-up. This is the first part of the presentation where the hearts of the hearers are being prepared. This is an act of laying and preparing the ground. In presenting the build-up, we have to state facts. I call this portion as STATEMENT OF FACTS. Here we may innumerate the usual happenings in our society, things usually done by people, and the practices that are accepted as normal and ordinary but contrary to Christian ethics and values. Or the facts about Jesus that will serve as transition to the second part. For example:
a. Jesus is not just an ordinary teacher. He is the greatest teacher.
b. Jesus is preoccupied in his teaching ministry. It is a very rare opportunity to have Jesus as a visitor.
c. Listening to Jesus was considered a very precious moments that thousands of people followed him wherever he went just to listen to him.
d. Many people are busy in attending to their business that they do not have time to listen to the Word of God. There was nothing wrong with the busyness of Martha in preparing lunch for Jesus and his disciples, but there was something much needful - listening to Jesus.
II. THE MESSAGE is the second part. This is where the exposition of the Gospel should be done lengthily. The exposition should be supported with RATIONALE and EVIDENCES taken from the Bible. Citing of biblical verses strengthens our argument and makes our presentation very convincing. If ever we present illustrations, it should be those that enhance and clarify our points.
III. CHALLENGE/CALL is the concluding part. We should not close our sermon without stating a challenge or call.