I am writing this Sermon Outline Preparation Guide as a simple tutorial to the process that I use in moving from the text of Scripture to an expository/homiletical outline. This is not a comprehensive guide to sermon preparation. Instead it is going to focus on the process of developing the best possible outline that covers the entire text in question and is focused around the concept of the Big Idea of the passage. The outline would then need to be fleshed out with illustrations and additional study and observations and interpretation and applications, etc. What I am presenting is more of a skeleton approach that constitutes the initial stage of sermon preparation.
This guide reflects my process which is not going to be the best fit for all preachers. I am not trying to make a case for some type of mandatory approach. Preaching is both a science and an art. There are certain objective goals that must be a priority; at the same time there are a wide range of subjective factors that depend on the giftedness and personality and approach of the expositor. So my process should be instructive to all, but is not being proposed as a model that should be followed by all preachers or in every circumstance. It is one additional tool that you can add to your toolbox.
Spiritual giftedness lies at the heart of sermon preparation and delivery. We are all wired differently by our Creator and Redeemer. Of primary importance is the dynamic of the Holy Spirit working to enlighten us regarding the text and then using our giftedness to bear spiritual fruit in the areas of evangelism and edification. The analytical, teaching approach that I prefer will not have the same appeal for a man who is gifted more in the area of exhortation or encouragement. However, the inductive analysis of the text of Scripture in a systematic fashion needs to be at the core of a healthy diet of indoctrination in the context of the local church.
Click the LEARN MORE button below to access the pdf file that will walk you through the process I use to move from text to sermon outline.