I’m approaching the delivery before the body of the sermon first. It’s putting cart way before the horse, but you’ll see why.
Yesterday, you learned the diagramming with “State educate Illustrate”. you can even alliterate your sermon points, something I do try to do. Anything to make it stick in your head.
Let me give you a sermon illustration of why. Yes, go ahead and add it to your bank of useless stories about a grandmother shopping and kittens learning to walk, and etc.
A corporation needed to get yet another paper signed. THey sent a Human Resources person around with a letter stating why they all had to sign one more piece of paper. Then they sent another human resource person around, to get everyone to sign.
THe human resource person comes back ,and gives the paper to the current mismanager of the corporation. “Joe in packing wouldn’t sign.”
“you told him why we need him to sign it?”
“Yes. I told him all the negative things that would happen to the corporation. Then I explained all the good benefits we’d get. He still wouldn’t sign.”
THe mismanager grunted. “Send him in.”
Joe goes into the office, and ten seconds later walks out. The Human Resources person goes back in, and the mismanager hands the paper complete with signature to the HR person. “He signed.”
“How did you convince him?”
“I told him sign it or your fired. He said, ‘nobody explained it to me like that before!'”
It’s funny, but essentially it’s true. Very often, Pastors get up and say, “you’re gonna be tested by the LORD! You BETTER NOT FAIL!!!”
And the congregation goes to business as usual, and fails.
Or the pastor explains,”The LOrd is going to test you so that he can prove you. You’re going to feel unhappy while its going on, but the benefits are amazing.”
And the congregation goes back to business as usual. And fails.
Or you can go in and tell them, “Across the world, Christians everywhere are caught in the fires of testing. Jobs, persecution, and the endless torment of temptations. The Lord allows this so that we can be proved. Most of you willl fail this. There is only one way to do it.”
Don’t tell them the way. NOW have them turn to Matthew 4:1-11. And begin your sermon.
END your sermon by reminding them that there’s only one answer to the test – “thy word have I hidden in my heart”. That and LOTS of prayer. Waiting until you’re in the middle of it is too late. ANd remind them if they DO NOT MEET THIS CORRECTLY, THEY WILL FAIL THE TEST EVERY TIME! God provided one way out, He took it hmiself, and He gave it to you in the Bible to see how to do it. Let’s pray…
It’s all in how you explain it.
Be sure to thump the pulpit every now and then. Raise your voice a little. Remember, you’re a Baptist.
It’s easier to get to Ohio if you know you’re going there! If you get in the car and start driving, you might end up in (gasp) Florida!!!
now that you know the angle you’re delivering your sermon in, start writing it.