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Dave Stone: How I Prepare a Sermon

Helping you develop your signature method of preparing a message

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Editor's note: As preachers develop their signature method of sermon preparation over the years, they often enhance their process by "cherry picking" from the sermon prep schedules and checklists of others. When someone preaches in a way that consistently intrigues and speaks to us, and we wonder how they do it, the answer may well be found in those schedules and checklists. Are there any key questions you normally answer, or paths of thought you typically take, as you study a text and write the sermon?

Dave Stone: I try to determine the main take-away from the text. Then I try to translate that into the best take-away for my audience. As I write my sermon, I attempt to give that central theme plenty of ways to breathe through the sermon. I do that through relevant illustrations, supporting scriptures, humorous stories, and biblical examples. When I write my conclusion, my goal is to challenge the listener to some type of action. I typically will ask myself the so what ...

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Elizabeth Havill

January 09, 2012  11:20am

I think Dave Stone has some very excellent suggestions in regard to preparing a message. It sounds like he's operating with a well oiled machine, and several good operators, However, I wonder how much He engaged the Holy Spirit in all of this. I'm sure he did, but with our modern technology, and so many helps for those of us who speak, we have to be so careful we're not organizing the Holy Spirit out of a job entirely! I would like to hear our brother say he spent several hours in prayer as he anticipated standing Sunday by Sunday between the living and the Dead!! May God give us less confidence in all our planning and more in our Powerful source, God Himself and His blessed Holy Spirit.

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