Selecting Sermon Form: The Preacher’s Strategy – Part 2

Yesterday I noted that if you find a good sermon form, you should not become a rigid adherent to that one form.  If sermon form is a matter of strategy (how to best accomplish the sermon goal), then there are two more implications to consider.

2. Better strategists have a varied arsenal. Again, it seems obvious, but it’s true.  The best generals, the best coaches, the best business strategists, all have a varied arsenal (play-book, if you prefer).  So try to accumulate options for how to shape a sermon.  Be flexible and willing to try new things.  Maybe something suggested by a preaching book.  Maybe something that develops organically as you study the text.

3. The best strategists select wisely based on the variables of the occasion.  Variation is not a virtue in itself.  If the same form as last week works best for this text, these people, on this occasion from this preacher – use it.  But over time if you only ever use one form, you are probably defaulting, rather than strategizing.  No matter how big your arsenal may be, you can only preach one way in the next sermon, so select well.

Grow your arsenal of options.  Read and listen as widely as you can.  Then choose each time the strategy that you believe will work best.  Deliver that arrow accurately to the intended target.  Your choice of sermon shape is your strategy to accurately deliver your main idea to its target, to achieve the goal of the sermon.  Choose well.  It matters.

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