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Framing an Outline for Life-Change

The sermon needs a good structure to encourage your hearers to action.

Framing an Outline for Life-Change

Any good sermon is undergirded by a good structure. That structural arrangement is known as the sermon outline. Those hailed as expository preachers are often heard telling us that a sermon's structure must be derived from the structure of the text we are preaching. Unfortunately, all too often the end product of that admonition leaves congregants hearing sermons that are simply an outlined commentary of information about a passage of Scripture.

Good preaching and true expository sermons must be something more than that. The more results from a reconsideration of the task of preaching, which I believe will also alter the way a sermon is outlined.

Rethinking the task of preaching

A thoughtful review of Jesus' longest recorded sermon found in Matthew 5-7 ought to sharpen our focus on what great preaching looks like. The thrust of Christ's sermon certainly does more than "aim only to clear the head" as J. I. Packer put it, but rather it truly "seeks to change the life." ...

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Displaying 1–3 of 3 comments

Derek Greenhalgh

February 27, 2017  6:03pm

If you found this article helpful, then I highly recommend Mike's book "Preaching that Changes Lives." The book should be on the shelve of every expositor, right next to Robinson, Chapell, MacArthur, Lloyd-Jones, and Adams.

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Rev. D.

April 09, 2016  2:58pm

Beautiful article! This is clean cut and concise. Outlines are great, but mean nothing if there is not thought or preaching the application. Bless you sie!

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Ken Evans

April 04, 2016  9:35am

Excellent article for pastors regardless of their seasoning. Thank you, Mike, for such clarity. I have pastored for 32 years and always use a printed outline for the benefit of the listeners. Your suggestions are very helpful. God bless. Ken Evans, North Carolina

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