Every sermon should contain teaching, but we must preach and not teach. Preaching involves the communication of conviction and not just content. We want to address the mind and stimulate the emotions, but people must choose to exercise their will in order to be changed.
Preachers face the temptation of going after things that are new and different, in this workshop that is part one of two, Craddock makes a case for the importance of beginning with the old story.
Don't ride the same horse in every race, vary your sermon structure. Some sermons are teaching, others persuading, encouraging, inspiring, or correcting. The structure of the sermon must be congenial to the text.
We need to learn to say "come to Christ" in a way that people will respond. Bell describes four main thoughts regarding invitations: the powerful mandate given to us, some practical methods employed, popular misunderstandings, and the prayerful manner we ought to have while extending an invitation.
Robinson talks about the need for illustrations to be convincing and absent of factual errors. There must be interest value and an avoidance of what is trite and used. Illustrations must never be read and contain only the essential details.
The first thing is to get their attention and avoid abstractions. Stories, movement and participation are key. Myra discusses three aspects of a good children's sermon.
Joke telling has a high possibility of failure, but humor has a definite place in sermons. Humor is a display of freedom and a clear indication of the grace of God.
In this workshop Palmer looks at the textual work that precedes writing a sermon. He identifies five types of questions, technical, historical, content-theological, contemporary and discipleship, for you to ask as you explore a text.