The Life Cycle of the Sermon

Most sermons follow a similar pattern: birth, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension.

In his 25 years of preaching, Pete Scazzero, pastor of New Life Church in Queens, New York, has noticed a pattern for his sermon preparation process. Scazzero calls it "The Life Cycle of the Sermon," and he claims that his sermons follow this cycle at least 95 percent of the time. This cycle involves five remarkably consistent phases—birth, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. (Sound familiar?) In this candid interview, Scazzero analyzes this pattern and coaches preachers in how to journey through each stage of the cycle.

What do you mean by the birth of a sermon? What does that look like for the preacher during a normal week?

The birth of a sermon starts with a lot of energy. A sermon is birthed when I get excited about a big idea or a particular passage of Scripture, and I can't wait to share it with others. So I plunge into my exegesis and my study. It's all so rich and enjoyable. My soul is getting fed. My mind is filled with possibilities.

God ...

preaching skill Preview

This preaching skill is available to PreachingToday.com subscribers only.

To continue reading:



Rating & Reviews

Average User Rating:

Displaying 5–7 of 7 comments

Rosalie Kwak

February 04, 2013  4:42pm

You're right Pete, It is easy to think you are crazy as you enter the "death" phase. Afraid that even all you've discovered and thought you've gained will be lost and is for naught. and then somehow God finds the gold in the dirt and shows it to you. I appreciate very much how you have articulated this process and gave examples from your own sermon journey. I find all of your thoughts helpful. Thank-you!

Report Abuse

Chris Woodall

February 04, 2013  12:53pm

I am a lay speaker and will always remember this great article because it hits home with me so much. Thanks

Report Abuse

Judy Bangsund

February 04, 2013  12:00pm

Thank you for this timely article (Monday morning). Just what I needed to hear -- a gift from God. Your analysis hit a home run. It is useful, not only in looking back (and letting go) but also in giving me a clearer picture of the process of sermon-making. I think it will be helpful to many preachers as we go through this agonizing but also thrilling process, the privilege of speaking God's word to His people.

Report Abuse

Please to rate and review this preaching skill. Or subscribe now for full access.

Related articles

Heart-to-Heart Preaching

How to tap authentic emotions, both yours and the listeners'
Peter Scazzero

The Spiritual Importance of Becoming an Emotionally Healthy Preacher

Key issues to address as we look beneath the surface

Preaching in the Zone (part 1)

Finding that place of perfect connection

more articles ...

Print this page Shopping Cart Help My Account 

Editor's Update

Matt Woodley

Preaching That Cuts It Straight

August 29, 2016

archives | read more ...