How To Write Topical Sermons! The best way to learn how to write topical sermons is to show you an example of a topical sermon. The example I will show you will be on the topic of prayer.
How To Write Topical Sermons
The topical sermon that I will show you has three parts: the introduction, the sermon body and a conclusion. The introduction will introduce the topical. The sermon body will expand and explain the sermon topic and the conclusion will restate the topic with application.
As previous stated the topic of this sermon is the different types of prayer. In this topical sermon, I crafted the sermon body around eight (8) major types of prayer. This doesn’t mean that these are the only types of prayer; but for this message, these eight types were sufficient.
Topical Sermon Outline
I never write a sermon unless I have written the sermon outline. Below is the topical sermon outline for the different types of prayer.
There are several different types of prayer that I want to share with you in this message. They are:
- Adoration (Psalm 8:1)
- Confession (1 John 1:9)
- Thanksgiving (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
- Supplication (Philippians 4:6)
- Intercession (James 5:16)
- Examination (Psalm 139:23-24)
- Relinquishment (Luke 22:42)
- Rest (Matthew 11:28-30)
Topical Sermon Content
Once I have written the sermon outline, I then add content, illustrations and application to the sermon outline. Then I write the introduction and the conclusion with final application.
Here is a brief summary of the topical sermon – The Different Types of Prayer!
Introduction: People generally know that prayer is communication with the God of the Bible. God communicates with us through His living Word, the Bible, and we communicate with God through prayer.
And the marvelous implication of prayer is that God hears us. God hears us because He is always present. In theological terms, we call this the omnipresence of God.
We must remember that God is the only One who is always present. This is an attribute only of God. That’s why when I pray and you pray, God hears us both.
Now, not all prayers are the same. There are several different types of prayer. I want to look at these different types of prayer with you in this message. Due to time I have chosen eight major types of prayer for discussion. They are:
1. Adoration – Adoration is simply adoring God in prayer by referring to His attributes of mercy, grace, love, majesty, etc. etc.
Psalm 8:1 depicts this adoration when the psalmist said, “O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth. You who set Your glory above the heavens!”
Adoration is prayer that praises God for who He is and what He has done for us.
2. Confession – confession is acknowledging our sins before God and asking God to forgive for our sins. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
When we confess our sins before God, there is freshness in our life, in our worship and in our walk with God.
3. Thanksgiving – Thanksgiving prayers are prayers of appreciation. There is much to thank God for because He has done much for us. He gave us His greatest gift in His Son, Jesus Christ. “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
4. Supplication – Supplication is asking God for your needs. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).
Supplication is most familiar to most Christians. In fact, we tend to focus too much on supplication and neglect adoration, confession and thanksgiving. The challenge for all of us is to develop balance in our prayer life.
5. Intercession – Intercession is supplication with a primary focus on others. “Confess your trespasses to one another and pray for one another” (James 5:16).
Intercession is asking God for something on behalf of someone else. In the James 5 passage, it is asking God for healing. This is where the elders of the church ask God to heal a person. Intercession is not just for healing but it can be for many things.
That’s why many churches have prayer chains whereby people pray on behalf of others.
6. Examination – Prayers of examination is asking God to search our hearts for sin because we can easily overlook it.
King David gave us the prayer of examination in Psalm 139:23-24. “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
7. Relinquishment – The word relinquishment explains itself. It is giving over to God our desires and ambitions so that God’s will can be done in our lives. Jesus gave us the prayer of relinquishment when He said: “Not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
8. Rest – Jesus gave us the prayer of rest. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
We try to carry burdens that we were never meant to be carried. That’s why we needs prayers of rest, unburdening ourselves before God.
Conclusion: Prayer is a high and holy privilege – a privilege given to us as Christians in which we can come to God in a very personal way. And there are different types of prayer we can offer up to God.
May we take some time to consider these different types of prayer! This list isn’t complete but it does offer us something to think about when it comes to our prayer life before God.
How to write topical sermons is about packaging your topical sermon in order to deliver it to your congregation. The topical sermon above has an introduction, a sermon body and a conclusion. Though brief it does give you an idea of how to write topical sermons.
The length of the sermon comes down to how much content you add to the sermon outline or how many illustrations you used to apply the content to your congregation.
Resources For How To Write Topical Sermons
Biblical Preaching by Haddon Robinson
Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon by Bryan Chapell
How To Preach Without Notes by Charles Koller
How To Prepare Bible Messages by James Braga
Improving Your Preaching With Stories
Storytelling permeates our societies with television, movies and the internet. We go to the cinema with family and friends to watch a good story. We read lifestyle magazines not for the advertisements but for the stories about interesting and remarkable people. We love a good story!
People love a good story! When minds and thoughts of people wander, a story grabs their attention again to focus them on the message. She stood naked with her sister watching the camp matron beat the prisoner. “Oh, the poor woman,” she cried. “Yes, may God forgive her,” her sister replied. Again Corrie Ten Boom realized that it was for the souls of the brutal guards that her sister prayed. You now have their attention.
Why Add Stories To Your Preaching?
Stories apply the content of your preaching. In other words, if you want to show the people of your congregation how to put God’s word into practice, tell them a relevant story.
There’s a pig and a chicken walking down the road. As they walked along, they read a sign advertising a breakfast to benefit the poor. The chicken turned to the pig and said, “You and I should donate a ham and egg breakfast.” The pig replied, “Not so fast, for you and egg is just a contribution, but for me a ham is a total commitment.” We get the point!
Stories clarify the content of your preaching. Sometimes a tongue in cheek story can clarify the principle or truth you are sharing with your congregation.
After a minster preached a sermon on spiritual gifts, he was greeted at the door by a lady who said, “Pastor, I believe I have the gift of criticism.” He looked at her and asked, “Remember the person in Jesus’ parable who had the one talent? Do you recall what he did with it?” “Yes,” replied the lady. “He went and buried it.” With a smile, the pastor suggested she do likewise.”
When I read that story, I smiled also. But you know that is the best thing we can do with a critical spirit. Get rid of it. Bury it because a critical spirit seldom helps, seldom encourages or seldom builds up.
Stories stick to the content of your preaching. These stories are usually unforgettable like the story of the Good Samaritan or the story of the Rich Land Owner.
Some Tips To Keep In Mind
Limit the stories in your preaching. We preach God’s word and stories help us to do that but we do need to be mindful of how many we used in a sermon. I usually use one longer one and maybe two shorter ones.
File the stories for your preaching. I find stories from the books and literature I read. If I read something interesting, I write a note and file it in my story files. When I read the Bible in my personal time and find something interesting, I write a note and file it away. I try to write stories from my personal readings because they are easier to tell.
Learn to tell stories well in your preaching. I am not a good story teller. But I have worked hard at being better at it. I am more at ease telling stories as I mature in the preaching ministry.
You can read the FULL ARTICLE by clicking on Why Add Stories To Your Preaching.