How To Write A Topical Sermon: A topical sermon is one way to teach the Bible to your congregation. There are many subjects in the Bible which you can use to create topical sermons. For example, you may want to teach on the subject of sin, temptation, forgiveness, end times, creation, giving, heaven and hell.
By the way, there are generally three classifications for sermons – topical sermons, texture sermons and expository sermons. If you want to know more about these sermon classifications, I would encourage you to purchase James Braga’s book, How To Prepare Bible Messages. James gives an in depth description of each classification with example of how they are structured and presented.
Create An Angel To Your Topic Sermon
When it comes to a topical sermon, you need to create an angel to your message. For example, you may want to teach about heaven. You can teach heaven from several different angels – The Benefits of Heaven or The Eternal Wonders of Heaven. Each sermon needs an angel, a topic universal enough to concern most listeners and particular enough to spark curiosity. The angel you create tells us what the sermon is about.
Create a Purpose To Your Topic Sermon
Every sermon needs a purpose. The angle tells us what the sermon is about. The purpose tells us what the sermon should do or what the listeners will do as a result of the sermon. If you are going to teach on the Eternal Wonders of Heaven, what do you want you listeners to do?
If you want to know more about how to create an angel or purpose to your topical sermon, I would encourage you to purchase Mark Galli and Craig Brian Larson’s book, Preaching That Connects. They spend a chapter explaining the importance of angel and purpose.
Create a Topical Sermon Outline
I never write a sermon without first creating a sermon outline. The sermon outline is a road map for your message. When I write a sermon outline, I keep three structural features in mind.
1. The Main Preaching Point
The main preaching point defines your message – it expresses what you are going to preach about. If it doesn’t express what you are going to preach, then change it until it does.
2. The Key Word or Hinge Word
The key word or hinge word allows you to expand and explain your main preaching point. For example, you are preaching on the subject of The Eternal Wonders of Heaven. You can use Wonders as your key word in order to swing to the sub-points from your main preaching point.
For example, today I want to look at the four eternal wonders of heaven. The first eternal wonder of heaven is that heaven is a real place. The second wonder of heaven is that heaven is a beautiful place. The third wonder of heaven is that heaven is a populated place and the fourth wonder of heaven is that heaven is a personal place. The key word or hinge word must be a plural noun.
If you want to know more about how the key word or hinge word works, I would encourage you to purchase Charles Koller’s book, How To Preach Without Notes. Charles Koller fully explains this homiletical device in the seventh chapter.
3. The Sub-points and Incidental Points
Once you have created your main preaching point and key word, you can add your sub-points and incidental points. It is important to remember that your sub-points and incidental points are simply expanding and explaining your main preaching point. Below is an example of how to write a topical sermon!
Here is an outline of my sermon on the Eternal Wonders of Heaven.
There are three eternal wonders of heaven. They are:
- Heaven is a real place (Rev. 21:1-2)
- It is a new place (Rev. 21:3-5)
- It is a beautiful place (Rev. 21:9-21)
- God is there (Rev. 21:3)
- Jesus is there (Rev. 21:6)
- Believers are there (Rev. 21:7)
If you want to know more about how to create and organize sub-points and incidental points, I would encourage you to purchase Bryan Chappell’s book, Christ-Centered Preaching and Charles Koller’s book, How To Preach Without Notes.
Create and Write the Topical Sermon
Once I have completed the sermon outline, I add content and illustrations to the sermon outline – how to write a topical sermon.
Once I complete adding content and illustrations, I write the introduction and conclusion to the sermon. I always write the introduction and conclusion after I have completed the body of the sermon which is the sermon outline.
I have been writing sermons for about twenty-five years (25) and I have found the following books invaluable to my education on writing sermons. How To Write A Topical Sermon with the following resources!
How To Write A Topical Sermon Resources
Braga James, 1981, How To Prepare Bible Messages, Multnomah Press, Portland, Oregon.
Chapell Bryan, 1994, Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Lowry Eugene L, 2001, The Homiletical Plot: The Sermon as Narrative Art Form, Westiminster John Know Press, Louisville, Kentucky.
Robinson Haddon W, 2001, Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages Baker Academic, Grand Rapids Michigan.
Koller Charles W, 1995, How To Preach Without Notes, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids Michigan.