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  • Ivan Chow

7 steps to write a Sermon

I love IKEA furniture. You get home. Rip the box open. See the different parts. Thirty minutes later, you’ve got a cheap and cheerful piece of furniture ready to use!

Those of you who are veteran IKEA folks might have just bought your 10th Billy Bookcase this past week. You open up the box and you instinctively know what to do: which part goes where, what order to assemble things etc. You might even add your own modifications to take this generic bookcase to the next level!

But those who’ve just bought your first Billy Bookcase might be bewildered about what to do! You know what the finished product looks like. But you’ve got no idea how to assemble the mish-mash of parts in front of you. What does this L-shaped metal thingy do? Do I screw on the shelves to the frame before or after I’ve nailed in the backboard?

That’s why IKEA supplies an instruction sheet! Step by step instructions for assembly that guides you where each part goes and when.

This training module is like an IKEA instruction sheet. It features step by step instructions on how to put a sermon together. It’s written specifically for people who are new to preaching. It serves as a guide for where and how to begin.

Here's my suggested 7 steps:

1. Work out the big idea of the book and the big idea of the passage you’re preaching from.

2. Write down the outline of the sermon.

3. Listen to 1-2 online expository sermons on the same passage by faithful preachers.

4. Revise the outline (if necessary).

5. Write out a quick first draft of the full-text sermon script using the outline from STEP 4 .

6. Edit the first draft full-text script.

7. Practice speaking the final script.

As you get more proficient in preparing sermons, we have no doubt you’ll be like the person with the 10 Billy Bookcases: You’ll have no need for the instruction sheet. You might have your own shortcuts. You’ll modify the process by inserting your own additional steps.

Try this out, give this approach a go and start writing!

Ivan is an Elder-Pastor at Bethesda Church Bukit Arang. He's suffering now but knows glory is near. He supports Liverpool and has 7 kids.

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