This was our last “in class” KTL session. We spent the first part of the class hearing from the four guys who are preaching the Job passages. With them, we went over their passages truth statement, how it points to Christ, New Testament correlated reference, application statement, and main sermon illustration.
I taught the students on how to introduce, show the audience their need to listen, and conclude their sermon…during the 2nd half of the class. Introductions are absolutely critical to engaging your audience, arresting their attention, and keeping their attention. Many times people use introductions as a way to introduce the topic they’re preaching that morning. I rather like to use an introduction story to introduce the first main thought in the passage I’m preaching. I feel like if we’re just introducing a topic, then people automatically assume that we’re preaching a topic. But if we introduce the first major thought of the passage we’re preaching, then they will be encouraged that we’re preaching God’s Word and not just some topic on life. Introductions should always be a story…and a personal story if at all possible. In the introduction of your sermon, you want to start off with a story that would connect with their world (from your personal life), then you’ll lead them to the Word, and then the end of the sermon is leaving them back in their world. Introductions should be engaging, somewhat shocking, humorous, and absolutely attention getting. Introductions should usually only last around 20% of the total sermon time.
Next we talked about how to show their audience that they NEED to listen to this sermon message. The NEED of the sermon should only last a minute or two, and it should present a problem, pose a need, and/or create interest in the audience to think “yeah, this is something that I do need to listen to. It will apply to me.” This could be simply presenting how this passage affects all of our lives, how we all struggle with this common sin, statistics, 2 – 3 different views on what you’re about to talk about, cognitive dissonance (confuse them by asking a really tough question…and then answer it in sermon), what is really going on in the world with this topic.
Lastly, we talked about conclusions. Sermon conclusions should never present any new information that wasn’t already clearly said in the sermon. Sermon conclusions should only summarize, restate, recap, and/or clarify the main point(s) of the sermon. Conclusions can often be used as a “drawing the net”. This means conclusions can hammer home how to live and what to decide based on what was just preached. As well, some people use a “cyclical conclusion” approach (which I like) which ties together the introduction story into the conclusion in a very short, simple, but completing way.