Let’s say this together, “These are just some ideas and personal opinions, and there is no one singular way to write a sermon!”
Now that that is out of the way this whole article will go over so much better. So let’s jump into it!
I’ll preface by saying I’m not a professional public speaker, actually I’m more the opposite. I’m a Youth Pastor in her first year of pastoral vocational ministry. I don’t have much to offer in the sense of “years of expertise” with speaking necessarily, but what I do have is a passion for writing and helping others learn how to grow in feeling comfortable with public speaking. I also firmly believe one of the biggest tools available has everything to do with how you write out your sermons.
Keep in mind, the Holy Spirit can speak and totally negate every note you took which can freak some people out who aren’t confident in their public speaking abilities but I’m beginning to learn that those are actually the best kind of message. At the same time, I believe that at least on our part it’s important to have some sort of plan and be prepared for speaking in front of any number of people.
Sermon Template Ideas
Whether you write sermons every Sunday, or if you’re about to start your first one, I want to show some simple examples of different ways that you could try out if you’re looking for some help or a fresh perspective!
The Blog Post: This is the style that I write the most because, in case you haven’t noticed, I do love and enjoy writing blogs. When I’m writing my sermons I don’t just use this style exclusively but I do steer towards it quite often.
This writing style is good for those that have a lot of thoughts and ideas all in your head and you need help to get those thoughts all out in one go. You can edit it later to break it up some, highlight what things are extra important, and bold the verses so they’re easily referable.
A very important thing to note with the blog post style of writing is that you need to have some sort of practice with adlibbing or improvisation because you won’t be able to check your notes as quickly as some other ways.
Writing sermon notes using the blog post is utilized best when you can skim quickly and not rely too heavily on every word written or typed out. An example of the blog post is actually precisely what I just wrote. It’s just one cohesive thought that I can break up and highlight or bold where needed.
The Bullet Point: I would say that the bullet point style of writing is really great if you’re needing your sermon to be:
- Easily understandable with plenty of room for explaining the ideas listed
- Quickly referenced by a quick glance at your notes
- Good for people who tend to go on rabbit trails and lose track of where they were at
The bullet point is helpful with those who are newer AND well versed in sermon writing. Especially for the people that may need help with keeping the right consistency and pace of a sermon. In addition, those who normally have a hard time staying on message or are prone to getting distracted.
3 Points/3 Verses: If you’re newer to sermon writing then this is the template for you, and here’s why:
- It’s helpful for the newer sermon speaker because the points are exactly right where you need them in the order you need them.
- For example, John 3:16 can easily be placed under each point so you can match what you say to scripture that supports.
2. This template is also great for youth groups.
- I don’t say this because they are stupid but actually the contrary. 1 Timothy 4:12 says not to despise your youth but instead set an example. This type of speaking, therefore, is great for them to remember exactly how to combine what they are learning with what scripture says to use in their life which is exactly what they need to start learning the value of.
3. Lastly, it’s perfect for using Powerpoint, ProPresenter, or any other slides software.
- Using visual aids is always a bonus for the new speaker. It shows you thought out what you said before-hand and what points are especially important to remember.
A Different Type Of Sermon Prep
It needs to be added while all of these are great tools to use for speaking opportunities, they are just that: tools. They’re there to help if you need them but don’t feel like these are the only ways to prepare for a sermon. What I think is way more important than any of this type of preparation is taking the time to spend preparing your heart and mind to speak.
Set time aside that isn’t typing, writing, reading, or rehearsing.
Be intentional with just being in the presence of God and letting Him say what He wants to say while you just take time to pause and listen. I think if you were to even do just that, on a regular basis, the sermon you intend to preach can’t go wrong.