How to: Write a Sermon

  1. Pray: Pray deeply. Remove any ideas that you have about what you want to preach. Ask God for what HE wants you to speak on.
  2. Choose your text: Pray again. Is there a text that is meaningful to you? Is there a text that speaks deeply about Jesus to you? Do you feel impressed towards specific verse/s?
  3. Research: Pray. Google. Are there any words I don’t understand? What do prominent commentaries say (Matthew Henry, SDA Bible Commentary, Living Word BC, etc.) 
  4. What does the text say? Read it in context. Are there any significant words? What was the author saying to his audience back then?
  5. What does this text teach me about Jesus?  Every verse in Scripture points to Jesus and shares something of God’s character AND LOVE. What does this teach me about Him?
  6. How does this apply to my congregation? Why do we care specifically about this verse? Are there ways that this applies to our congregation?Are there ways it applies to me/others personally?
  7. Add Illustrations: Does this remind me of anything? Is there a story from my life that exhibits what this text is trying to say?Is there a prop I can bring to send home the point?
  8. Create a Bullet Point: A word or phrase that embodies what you want people to remember about your sermon: No more than 4 words. Your sermon only needs ONE major point. Otherwise it’s a spray of bb’s—not a bullet. 
  9. Write the Sermon.
    • Here is the text (Say BULLET POINT)
    • Here is the context (Repeat BULLET POINT) 
    • Here is the research insights. (Repeat BULLET POINT)
    • Here is what it teaches us about Jesus. (Repeat BULLET POINT)
    • Here is how it applies to our lives. (Repeat BULLET POINT)


  • How long should a sermon be?
    • A: None of us are Batchelor, Asscherick, or Finley, please keep it to 20-25 min. 
  • How many pages is that?
    • For most of us, that’s NO MORE than 4.5 pages typed and double spaced
  • Do I need to write a manuscript?
    • No, but it is absolutely necessary that you speak from an outline at least. 
  • Can I stray from my outline?
    • Please, for the love of all those around you, do not. If you must, keep it brief. 

Dont’s: no politics, screaming, gossip, single someone out and write a sermon just for them, preach against the 28 Fundamentals etc. Be wise. 

5 tips for sermon writing; sermon writing tips