Hey fellow preachers and teachers. For a third time I thought it would be cool to let you in on how I organize my thoughts in preparing a sermon. I usually pray, approach the text, pray more, read again, pray, outline main ideas, form a rough outline, pray, then write out the sermon verbatim.
I want to share with you the middle stage of this process. There has been some progression in how exactly it looks, but the idea is basically the same. Here is the “main idea” stage for one of my first sermons. Notice the differences; yet again it gets longer and this time there is color!
Commission: Main Idea
Sermon Title: Fulfilling our Mission
Main Idea: As a Church we have a mission. What is that mission? Jesus tells us: “as the father sends me I send you.” (John 17:18) understand our mission we need to look at the life of Jesus and answer two questions. How was Jesus sent and Why was Jesus sent? Once we answer these questions we discover our purpose as a Church. That purpose is to glorify God and to bring others into relationship with him. However doing this as individuals is hard and not very fruitful. Therefore our community is our greatest witness and apologetic.
General Summary: As a Church we have a mission. What is that mission? Jesus tells us: “as the father sends me I send you.” (John 17:18) We are supposed to be like Jesus. As Christians this is why we live, to become more and more like the son. But this still this is vaugue. And sounds more like discipleship than mission. Well Jesus says that we are sent like him, so to understand our sentness or our “missionness” we need to look at the life of Jesus and answer two questions. How was Jesus sent and Why was Jesus sent? How was Jesus sent answers the question of the stuff that he did on earth: taught spent time w/ people, spent time with god, preached the kingdom, lived for 30 years as a normal guy before his ministry. The fact that Jesus did these things means that this is the way that we are to be sent. These things should characterize our lives as sent people. But the real question is why was Jesus sent? The answer is that Jesus was sent to redeem us and create a community that glorifies him. If we look back at genesis we see that we were created to glorify God. Or as the Westminster Shorter Catechism puts it: “Q. 1. What is the chief end of man? A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” So ultimately Jesus died for us so that we could do what we were meant to do right from the beginning: glorify God. So ultimately this is our mission: to glorify god and to bring others into a relationship that glorifies God. And now I could tell you how you can go out and do this through evangelism, but I won’t. I could tell you to go out and share the gospel with your coworkers but I won’t. I want to tell you to do something else. I want you to do evangelism in the context of community. There are several ways that we do evangelism on our own that usually end up with us getting very frustrated: 1-“springer evangelism” and “lone ranger evangelism.” Do you know why we get so frustrated that way? Because that isn’t the way we were meant to evangelize. John 17:23 tells us so. Our community is our greatest witness and apologetic. Once we get this down I guarantee we will begin to see people come to Christ. We need to make it natural for people to hang out with us and to see Christ’s work in us as a community. Once they see that , they will hunger for it! Try it out w/the Halloween party, etc.