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  • Ivan Chow

8 tips for writing clear sermon scripts

Updated: Nov 19, 2019

You get a message on your phone from your friend:

"Comparing the present clock-reported time with what we previously discussed and made an agreement about, it seems that I myself may not be exactly on schedule".

You scratch your head. You read the message again. You finally work out that your friend means:

“I’m running late”

Multiply the convoluted sentence above about a 100 times and that’s what some sermon scripts look like! The ideas are good. The logic is clear. But the hearer just can’t get through the fog to appreciate the fruits of all the hard bible text work you’ve done. Your sermon is faithful to the text but it’s not clear.

In this training module, we learn 8 tips for writing clear sermon scripts. Here they are:

1. Try not to use an expression which you are used to hearing/seeing in print

2. Never use a long word where a short one will do

3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out

4. Never use the passive voice where you can use the active voice

5. Never use a jargon-y word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent

6. Write the way you speak

7. Use “In other words”

8. Give verbal cues upfront about what you’re going to say next

Here’s to clear messages (on the phone and in the pulpit)!

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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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