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Basic Sermon Structure (part one)

Three architectural laws nearly every sermon should follow.

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There is no single mold into which all sermons should be poured. Good habits of preaching do not develop like a good golf swing, in which the instructor says, " Do it this way every time! " Nevertheless all sermons should follow basic guidelines for the sake of clear and relevant communication.

I write from the perspective of the " the big idea. " That is, every sermon has one central thesis, homiletical proposition, or " big idea. " This grows out of a long-standing tradition of rhetorical theory and practice as well as a sound hermeneutic that attempts to represent the biblical author's intent for the sermon's passage.

One of the definite advantages of the " big idea " is that the sermon has a single thesis. The sermon moves down one road toward one destination. Thus, listeners need to grasp only one imperative, one principle or one truth, rather than seek to filter out a few helpful ideas amidst disarray. Yet, too often, I listen to sermons ...

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