Preaching - Lesson 10

Workshop on Sermon Introductions

In this lesson, you will learn the importance of crafting engaging and relevant sermon introductions, which will help you captivate your audience and set the stage for the rest of the sermon. You will explore various elements that make a sermon introduction effective, such as anecdotes, stories, questions, quotations, and the use of statistics and facts. The lesson will also guide you through the process of researching, brainstorming, structuring, and presenting an effective sermon introduction. Lastly, you will learn how to assess the effectiveness of your introductions and refine them to improve their impact.

Bryan Chapell
Lesson 10
Watching Now
Workshop on Sermon Introductions

I. The Importance of Sermon Introductions

A. Engaging the Audience

B. Establishing Relevance

II. Elements of an Effective Sermon Introduction

A. Anecdotes and Stories

B. Questions and Quotations

C. Statistics and Facts

III. Preparing and Delivering Sermon Introductions

A. Research and Brainstorming

B. Structuring the Introduction

C. Presentation Tips

IV. Evaluating and Improving Sermon Introductions

A. Assessing Effectiveness

B. Revising and Refining

Class Resources
  • Gain insights into effective preaching principles, covering history, essential components, styles, and techniques, and learn how to prepare and deliver impactful sermons.
  • Gain valuable insights on sermon construction, learn techniques for effective preaching, and understand the importance of continuous improvement for delivering impactful messages.
  • Through this lesson, you gain valuable insights into the process of text selection and interpretation for preaching, as well as learning practical techniques for delivering engaging and relevant sermons.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into the process of creating a sermon, from text selection to delivery, emphasizing textual analysis and message relevance.
  • Through this lesson, you gain the skills to craft clear, engaging, and memorable sermons by mastering the principles of effective outlining and arrangement in preaching.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to craft effective propositions and main points, enhancing your preaching clarity and impact.
  • By exploring homiletical outlines, you'll learn to effectively develop and structure sermons, understand various outline types, and apply engaging presentation techniques for impactful preaching.
  • In this lesson, you gain insights into crafting engaging introductions for sermons, exploring their importance, characteristics, types, and the process of creating a compelling introduction that effectively connects to the message.
  • Through this lesson, you learn the importance of exposition in preaching, how to develop an expository sermon, and the role of the preacher for effective communication.
  • This lesson teaches you to create captivating sermon introductions using anecdotes, questions, and facts, guiding you through research, structuring, and presentation to maximize audience engagement and improve your overall sermon impact.
  • In order to understand the basic subdivisions of your sermon in expository development, it is important to it is helpful to see what the specific members of your sermon's body looks like in standard development.

  • By completing this lesson, you learn to effectively prepare and deliver sermons while focusing on personal growth, continuous improvement, and dependence on God.
  • Learn to effectively classify and develop sermons into topical, textual, and expository types, enhancing your preaching skills and audience connection.
  • In this lesson, you learn the significance of explanation in preaching and strategies to craft and deliver effective explanatory sermons while evaluating their effectiveness for continuous improvement.
  • By incorporating illustrations into your preaching, you engage listeners, clarify complex ideas, and enhance memory retention while learning effective guidelines to utilize various types of illustrations.
  • Explore this lesson to learn how to effectively use illustrations in sermons by isolating events or experiences, refining principles, and connecting with your audience through human interest accounts.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to effectively use illustrations in preaching to engage listeners, clarify concepts, and draw from various sources, while maintaining relevance, variety, and ethical considerations.
  • Gain insight into the importance of application in preaching, as well as principles and methods for effective application, to create impactful and relevant sermons that resonate with your audience.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to effectively apply biblical teachings to modern life, considering various approaches, overcoming challenges, and utilizing practical tips for context-sensitive and culturally aware application.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insights into crafting effective transitions in preaching and utilizing the dialogical method for increased audience engagement and message clarity.
  • Gain insight into various sermon presentation methods, their advantages and disadvantages, and learn to choose the right method and improve your preaching skills.
  • Through this lesson, you enhance your preaching skills by mastering vocal techniques and purposeful gestures, ensuring a connection with the audience while continually improving your delivery.
  • Learn the significance of dress and style in preaching and how to balance authenticity, appropriateness, and clarity to effectively communicate your message to your audience.
  • You learn to effectively repurpose old sermons, gaining insight into updating them for relevance, enhancing delivery, and managing time efficiently.
  • By studying this lesson, you gain insight into the crucial connection between the Word and Spirit in preaching and learn to balance them for effective and authentic sermons.
  • Through this lesson, you learn how to apply a Christ-centered, redemptive-historical approach to preaching, addressing common criticisms and enhancing your sermons.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to compose powerful redemptive messages that highlight Christ's work and connect biblical themes to modern audiences.
  • Through this lesson, you gain an understanding of redemptive principles in preaching, learning to identify them in Scripture and effectively apply them to your sermons while navigating potential challenges.
  • By exploring the importance of genre in biblical interpretation and applying redemptive interpretation to various biblical genres, you will gain knowledge and insight into the historical and literary context, redemptive themes and patterns, and contemporary application of different types of genres in the Bible.


Dr. Bryan Chapell explores the unifying principle of grace that binds all Scripture together. He outlines and demonstrates the principles and practice of sermon-crafting and delivery to illuminate the message of grace in each passage, and to submit it to God's Spirit for the transformation of lives through preaching.

Dr. Chapell is making these recorded lectures available for you to access at no charge on BiblicalTraining.org. However, there is no personal interaction with Dr. Chapell in this format. The assignments and activities described are for classes that he teaches in person. We left the descriptions in for your benefit, but we do not offer personal or group interaction to participate in these activities. You can, however, sign up for his new preaching classes at BryanChapell.com/courses.

Dr. Chapell is helped in this course by Zachary W. Eswine, Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program (BSW, Ball State University; MDiv, Covenant Theological Seminary; PhD, Regent University). Dr. Eswine served as senior pastor of Grace Church of the Western Reserve in Hudson, Ohio, for six years before joining Covenant Seminary's faculty in 2001. He has served as a campus minister with the Navigators, as a church youth director, and as a chaplain-evangelist in retirement facilities. Since arriving at the Seminary, Dr. Eswine has also served as interim pastor for Tates Creek Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Kentucky, as advisory pastor for the Chinese Gospel Church of St. Louis, and as interim pastor for Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in St. Louis. He has taught New Testament in Ukraine and served as a short-term missionary in the Caribbean. Dr. Eswine is a gifted preacher and has authored the book Kindled Fire: How the Methods of C. H. Spurgeon Can Help Your Preaching and numerous articles on homiletics. In addition, as an accomplished musician and songwriter, he has recorded three collections of original songs.

Philosophy and Goals of the Course

1. "Prep and Del" is an introduction to the basics of sermon construction and delivery. This is not primarily a course on the theology of preaching, but rather is a practical introduction to the tools, structures, and concepts that help preachers learn to put a sermon together. 

2. Because this course is introductory, certain standards of sermon construction are taught that I hope you will consider "foundational" rather than universal. There is not only one "right way" to preach. However, mastering the methods of this course will help you develop the tools needed for many kinds of future sermons. Students from many backgrounds and preaching traditions have found these tools helpful even as they prepare for other styles in the future. Other methods and styles will be taught and encouraged in future semesters.

3. In Dr. Chapell's seminary class, you would be asked to present some short oral assignments to the class in order to: a) begin integrating the information presented in lectures; b) begin honing your preaching skills; c) and, remove some of the intimidation of your first preaching experience next semester.

(At this time, we do not provide personal interaction to evaluate your progress. We included the suggested assignments and activities to give you direction as you apply the principles you are learning to your own sermon preparation and delivery.)

Recommended Books

Christ-Centered Preaching (text only) 2nd(Second) edition by B. Chapell

Christ-Centered Preaching (text only) 2nd(Second) edition by B. Chapell

Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon [Hardcover]Bryan Chapell (Author)

Christ-Centered Preaching (text only) 2nd(Second) edition by B. Chapell
Christ-Centered Sermons: Models of Redemptive Preaching

Christ-Centered Sermons: Models of Redemptive Preaching

Highly regarded preacher and teacher Bryan Chapell shows readers how he has prepared expository sermons according to the principles he developed in his bestselling...

Christ-Centered Sermons: Models of Redemptive Preaching

Dr. Bryan Chapell
Workshop on Sermon Introductions
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] This recording is provided courtesy of Covenant Theological Seminary. The assignments back in class. And I don't know that I've ever formally gone through, particularly for these small assignments, what the grading marks mean. But if it's if it's not obvious, the basic thing is if you're if you're getting it, you're saying, wow, that's really good. You got it. Things are great. Keeps women don't change much. You just keep going forward. That's that's a plus if it's. Well, you kind of got it. But you need to review it and add some things or correct some things. Then that's a check. So it means you're getting the basic idea, but it needs refinement. And if you get one of these which are rare, if you get a minus, that means you didn't get it. And it needs major revision or additions or change. And if you're, you know, somewhere in between, then you get check pluses and check minus. So this is kind of the the in-betweens. Okay. So this is this is most common that a check plus or a plus. And you definitely know if you're getting a check or a minus, there is additional work that would need to be done on that assignment prior to its final form. And remember, what we're doing is we're building that final sermon. So keep changing. This is giving you feedback on the things that you're doing. So the hope is that you'll look at and say, I'm okay or I'm not okay. Things need adjustment or I'm going pretty square and just keep moving along in that regard. So that's what those different checks, pluses and minuses mean. And remember, they do not hugely affect your grade. I hope you don't get overstressed about those things. My goal is to give you feedback and keep giving you feedback so that what really counts for the overall grade you have lots of info on before it becomes critical to you.

[00:01:55] Okay. Let's pray and we'll proceed today. Heavenly Father, as we come through the rain outside, we remember that as the rain waters the earth. So your word feeds your people. We praise you that we can be part of that rain shower for others, bringing by the truths that you would give light and life to those whose lives are dead. And hurting and turned to this world's idol's. Would you? Even this day, as we begin to have individuals speak to us of what you have given them to say, enable them, even in these brief assignments, to not only sense the truth of your word, but the beauty of being able to share it. Grant We pray, Father, your goodness upon us, for Christ's sake, and the sake of your people. We ask this in Jesus name, Amen. What I'd like for you to do is take out the introductions that you're going to be turning in. And again, my goal is to have you not feel that what you've got typed out there has to be just perfect when you turn it in. But rather, I want you to think about making changes even as we go through the class today. So this is the first thing I'd like for you to consider. Would you look at your introductions and do this? Make sure that there is an f c f that is underlined. Now, the FCF is the burden of the message. It is always stated in the negative. It is something that is wrong. So if you're FCF is something that says people in the world today love Jesus. That is not an FCF. The FCF is people in the world today do not love Jesus. There is something that is wrong. So it doesn't have to have the word knot in it, but it's something that is negative.

[00:04:03] All right. So if you would take care to underline and FCF, now you say, Oh, no, I didn't do it that way. Fine. Pencil in. Make notes. Cross out a line, draw an arrow and put another line in. I'm fine. So underline the FCF question in the back. It. Thank you. No, it need not have the word knot in it. So it's okay not to have the word not. But it does need to be something that's wrong and that you've identified it as something that is wrong. Not as an easy way, but it's not the only way. So somehow you have identified a problem. Now, as you look at that problem, you're saying the whole sermon is going to be directed at that problem. All right. So the whole sermon is going to be dealing with that problem. And you want your listener to identify with that problem. So it's not just something that when we say an identifiable FCF, it's not just something that applies to you. You have worded it in such a way that it applies to your listener. So typically with the FCF, there is a WI statement somewhere around it. We all struggle with. We understand that this is a difficulty. So somehow there is a reach. Remember the handshake to the listener that you're trying to pull the listener in as well? You're not just saying I have this problem, you're saying we share it in some way. So the FCF has that mutual human condition that listeners share with those two or for whom the text was addressed. So you're identifying that mutual human condition. So if you would underline make sure you have underlined the FCF first step, then make sure you have a proposition, because the introduction was to lead into a proposition.

[00:05:48] So there should be a proposition that has both a what is true and a what to do about it. So in that proposition, there should be a principle and an application because God will judge sin, we must proclaim his word in every situation. So there should be one of those. We should. We must. You should. You must. One of those imperative statements within the introduction. Not just because God is sovereign. He rules tomorrow. Both are true statements, but there's no imperative in their case. So there has to be a truth and an imperative together. Then once you've looked at both clauses, something about in this case, the truth was judging sin and proclaiming word in every situation. Then look up through your introduction and make sure that the key words of both clauses. So on both sides of the comma. On both sides of the comma that the key words of both clauses have appeared in your introduction. So, for instance, here's judge, here's word word another judge's sin, Another sin, here's another judge, another proclaim word the sorts of things anybody see situation here, situation here, a situation. Here is word. So I am looking. This is actually what's called expositional reign. You're looking for the key words of your proposition to already be up in the introduction so that they will rain down the ear. Is being prepared, right? The ear is being prepared for what that proposition is. So you want to look at both sides of the proposition and say, did I get words for both sides in that introduction itself and then do this? Additionally, if you haven't boldfaced it, would you underline the key words of both sides of the proposition and then underline them in the introduction as well? Now you recognize that I, in the greater will be looking at 100 of these things and we may not read real closely, but we will definitely say, did he use these words up there? So that's what you're doing.

[00:08:01] You're showing us for our eye that the words that you're using in the proposition have already appeared in the introduction. Now, again, if you didn't do it, do it now. Okay? Just go ahead and write it and figure out a way to get the key words of both sides. That doesn't mean all the words, right. It's the it's the words that are kind of carrying your point. They're carrying the central idea, the key words of both sides. Make sure that they are underlined within the introduction itself. My. Yeah. Yeah. That's a that's a good question. Is it does it have to be exactly the same word in the introduction as in the proposition? And the technical answer is no, but the practical answer is yes. In other words, if you are using the word death, the age in the proposition, but the word dead were appearing in the introduction, I would say that's probably close enough. But if you were using the word mortal in the introduction and you used the word dead in the proposition, I would say that's not close enough. All right. So it's a little bit of a judgment call of what the ear can take. Right. So dead in death are probably close enough. Mortal and dead are probably not close enough. The. That's a great question. Am I looking for expositional rein only in the proposition or for the main points as well in the anchor clause? I'm looking for it in the main points as well, because that will stay the same in the proposition. But the magnet clause, I'm not so in the magnet clause, the one that will be changing. I'm only looking for the expositional reign to the proposition itself. Now we will talk about internal consistency of main points later on.

[00:09:58] And when we begin talking about how entered our illustrations and applications are formed. We'll look for expositional rein within the main point, but we're not doing that yet. Okay. All we're looking for at this point is kind of the matching of the intro and the introduction itself. I say that the introduction and the proposition itself. You asked me so far. All right. So you at this point, you've underlined SCAF and you've underlined key words in both the proposition and in the introduction itself. Now, the last thing you were supposed to do was to identify from the from the reading these elements in the margin where you arousing attention, introducing the subject again noting key terms segment of FCF where you're making it personal binding to scripture and proposition. Now I'm not going to give you a lot of time for doing that right now, but I am going to remind you this is supposed to be in your margin. So if you haven't done these things yet, if these things are not appearing on your page while we're now in these next stages of class, make sure you get them in. All right. So these things should be on your margin and somehow identified. And, you know, if you don't have it typed out, that's okay. Like, my goal is that you see it and are identifying for us that you've done those things. I'm going to turn this off now. So if you need to look into somebody else's, that's fine. But my goal is that we all are turning in pretty much the same things as we go through the end of the hour. Okay, here's what we're going to do now. I'm going to call on some folks and ask them to begin to present their introductions.

[00:11:51] And we will be evaluating them according to these six criteria. And we'll say, would I be interested in this sermon? Having heard your introduction, does it arouse interest? Does it introduce the subject with an identifiable FCF? Can we identify what the FCF is and do we identify with it? Does it prepare for the proposition in S.A.? Watts, S.A.. Concept and terminology. Okay. Concept and terminology. Does the opening sentence standalone? What if I just heard your opening sentence? Would I be interested in what follows? So what am I doing here? I'm working against your English teacher a little bit. Right. And I'm willing to walk away from those big general sentences and say, Do you have something of particular interest as your starting? So opening sentence stands alone. Does it become personal for the listener and does the introduction bond the scriptures there some reference to the Scripture as it will be Dealing with the subject that you have said is the burden of the passage. Now, as we're getting ready, just a few words about delivery. As we begin, we'll have a whole lot more about delivery as the course unfolds. But let's just talk about a few things to get us oriented to delivery. Remember Teddy Roosevelt's famous statement of how you do political affairs? You walk softly and. Carry a big stick. We're not going to do that. Neither are we going to talk softly. And that's the beginning, right? The beginning is simply to talk at an adequate volume. Now people begin to question what is adequate volume, particularly if you haven't had a lot of public speaking experience. It is not conversational volume. We are socialized in North America to speak to those at nearest distance to us. So just for the moment, I'm going to turn off the speaker and I say.

[00:13:57] For the person who is at nearest distance. To me, we train ourselves in public speaking to speak to those at greatest distance from us. We raise our voice naturally to speak to those at greatest distance from us. Now there is. There's just an old communicators tool of how you do this. Your voice will automatically and naturally modulate to where it ought to be. If you will simply look at the people in the back row. If I say then turn it off here again for a second. Andy, can you hear me okay? Any. So the old communicators rule is that you would look at the person most distant from you and speak at a volume appropriately for them. And it's not just doing all those things of gauging the size of the room, you know? You know what? Knowing all that sort of thing, you just automatically will do that. If you don't, the tendency is to let social convention control you. I don't want to speak to those people there. It will offend the people close to me. It won't if we speak to those people at greatest distance from us, the people nearest to us automatically forgive. They understand what we're doing. They know it's a public speaking situation. So we are seeking to overcome social convention and actually do what is natural. The greatest hurdle to overcome in public speaking is actually to do what is unnatural. So it makes sense when you remember we're getting a varsity letter or something like that at the athletic banquet in high school, and you just had your meal of rubber chicken and they were inviting you up on the stage. You know, you have walked all your life, but suddenly getting up out of your chair and walking up the stairs to the stage, you know, suddenly you felt like, oh, no, everybody's looking at me.

[00:15:54] And I, you know, I start feeling very unnatural. Whereas the most natural thing in the world to slip a chair back and walk up the stage in public speaking, we are intimidated by everybody looking at us. So we'll start doing things like we'll get very statuesque. We won't know what to do with these big old hands at the ends of our arms, you know, And and so we'll start doing very unnatural things. Many of us will assume the Napoleon stance. You know, and you start doing this, some will do the fig leaf approach, some will do. I'm afraid of you. Which means I put my hands behind me where they stop working. Okay, so the first rule was we look at the back and we speak to those at greatest distance from us. We're not worrying about volume. We're simply speaking to those at greatest distance from us. The second thing that we do is we simply stand up straight, speak to those at greatest distance and stand up straight. The things that keep you from standing up straight vary even by gender in North American culture. Here's what men do in this culture when they are nervous. Watch it. You'll see it immediately. What did I just do with my legs? I crossed my legs and leaned on the pulpit. Okay, this says to everyone I am nervous. And this is a form of crossing motion protecting myself. So I get close to this thing and I cross these legs. We simply stand up straight. And the way we know to do that is we, you know, have both legs, not cross. And then you wonder what to do with these things. So you don't lean on them. You know that the old joke is that the first place that wears out on preachers suits is their elbows because they're doing this okay? When I do this, I create a shell with my body.

[00:17:53] Now, what happens when I have to look at my notes? Okay. See the shell? I am talking into the pulpit rather than to people when I stand up straight about six inches off of the pulpit. Then what naturally happens is I look at my note, but the plane of my face keeps going outward so I can look very easily at my notes and say, This is what's here. Thomas Chapman of Salisbury in his art Credit Condie just read it off my notes, but I didn't have to create the shell. The other things that create the shells are grabbing the pulpit. Very easy to do because again, I don't know what to do with these hands. So I grab what I call the horns of the pulpit. These are the greater horns. These are the lesser horns. And when I do that, I now lock in, you know, and now what happens? You see people gesturing with their shoulders. Is that natural? That's not natural. The natural thing is if I were to take a videotape of any of you at the lunchroom and just kind of you didn't know what I was doing, you would do something with your hands. You would raise them again to conversational distance. You would raise them between the sternum and your nose. You would talk this way. And those of you who, you know, were a very demonstrative, you would do a lot of this. But those of you who are not demonstrative, all you should be doing this. Occasionally we raise our hands to where somebody's talking to us in a conversation, would be aware of our gesture. We don't even think about it. We don't say, and this is my first point, you know, down it. And we don't lock in to Napoleon and we don't start twisting our wedding rings.

[00:19:41] Very tender. You know, the tendency is great. Now, how do you keep from doing all that? Rather than kind of saying, oh, no, no, you know, he touched he touched the pulpit. Oh, no, you know. It's actually the opposite. The easiest thing to do if you were in speech class, a number of you've done this, you would always be told, Drop your arm, drop your arm, and you just feel so exposed and, you know, just feels awful down there. The easiest thing to do is to rest your hands on the front of the pulpit. Just rest them right here. Easy. No problem. Now, where are they available to you? Why would they need to be? They're just right there to gesture all the time. And you stop even thinking about it After you've been through this talk, where now you're going to be so conscious of it, you know, But if your hands just instead of grabbing, you know, grabbing on to the sides where they stop working, if they just rest here, now, that's where your notes are going to be, right? It is not at all wrong to kind of put your finger on where you're going to start in your notes because now your hands are going to move. And when you want to just be natural to talk to people. And that's the goal that the tendency in something like a humble it's class is to think that I will add something to your delivery that will make it better. Actually, my goal is the opposite. It is to subtract from your delivery what is unnatural. It is to subtract from your delivery what is unnatural. It is. It is not natural to speak to people like a statue. Okay. It's not natural to talk to people whom you respect and put a shell over yourself and look down at.

[00:21:14] The natural thing is to just stand up straight and talk. And that's what we'll do. So the two basic ideas are how do you govern? Where How loud is your voice? Speak to those. First thing to do is I mean, it sounds so it sounds so easy, but it's hard to do because we're socially trained up. The first thing to do is I would encourage you who will speak today, look at your notes, take a breath, and your tendency is going to be look right here. And just kind of say, well, look at the back. Okay. First thing to just look at the back and your voice will naturally pick up to where it ought to be. And then the second thing to do is to stand up straight. Now, I've done this for so that you're not kind of blown away about it. I've done this probably for about 20 years now. And even though I give this little talk before the introduction time, probably two out of every three people who talk will inadvertently still cross their legs. It is just, you know, we don't record, by the way, females don't do that. Males do this. Females cock one leg. And you think, Wow, where do we pick up that in our culture? I don't know. But it's just that it just when we're feeling kind of the pressure of the moment and we just kind of do those things, but it signals to everyone, I'm nervous. Now, listen, you're going to be nervous. Right. And anybody would be foolish not to be. You know, people are looking at you. You're going to say things you're going to want if you're going to say it the right way or not. Listen, the mark of great speakers is not that they fail to make mistakes.

[00:22:50] It is that they are poised when they make mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. Absolutely everybody. So the mark of great speakers is not that they fail to make mistakes. It is that it doesn't bother them. And then everybody at ease, right? It's when they go, oh, no, I must have. Oh, you know, then that everybody gets real nervous for you. But it is an act. Everybody messes up sometimes. Then we're totally at ease and we don't mind a bit, and we're just ready to roll. Everybody is going to make mistakes. Everybody's going across there like, sometimes. Okay. So don't worry about it. It's just you become aware of it over time. Okay. Ready, Andy? Pick a number between one and five. Okay, See, this way, I will blame you. And they won't blame me from 0 to 0. Is this Christian loser a winner or not? That would be the headline in the local newspaper the day after the homecoming game was over. Jon Hamilton was a starting wide receiver on the football team and this would be his last game. With only a couple seconds left to play, he would encounter the greatest test as his young career. Now he has spent four years at this Southern University, and he had decided that this was a difficult place to be. Growing up in a Christian home. He was suddenly encountered this culture that was so difficult. Temptation and evil were everywhere. And so, John, from the very first day of practice four years ago, got into the habit of kneeling and asking God the same thing every day. Lord, help me be a man of integrity. Help me be separate from the world. Help me to separate myself from evil. And now the greatest test of his career will come out of this team was down by five points, with only 5 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, with only one player remaining, the coach called in the play.

[00:24:41] The quarterback announced to the team and Hamilton realized that this was his last chance. At same to be remembered as a star athlete. Hamilton ran his route and ended up in the endzone. The quarterback threw the past straight to him. The problem was it was just a little bit low, leaving his feet. Hamilton doe for the ball and landed on top of it. He looked up and the referee held up his hands, signaling a touchdown. And suddenly Hamilton was in the center of attention, surrounded by his teammates who were screaming and looking into the eyes of a crowd that had almost rose to a deafening roar. Hamilton suddenly had a problem with all the celebration going on. He knew in his heart that he had trapped the ball. Trapping the ball simply means that it hit the ground before he caught it. And while the celebration continued, Hamilton snuck out of that intimate little gathering of teammates and quietly approached the referee as the referee then approached center field. Everyone became quiet. 50,000 people stared at the referee. The referee announced that the ball had been dropped, that Hamilton's confession led to the touchdown being recalled. Hamilton's. Touchdown was no longer good and his team lost the game from 0 to 0. Is this pristine young man a hero or not? The test took place in a matter of seconds. What would you have done? Such a difficult question. Would you have held the ball up? Would you have kept it as a trophy? Would you have accepted this victory and the applause and praise of the crowd? Or would you and I have gone to the referee and look him in the eye and said, there's a problem? Would we, for the sake of our witness as Christians being separate from evil, would we have told the referee? I'm sorry, but you made a mistake.

[00:26:42] I trapped the ball. Hamilton's behavior is so very different from what we encounter everyday in this world and sometimes from evil, how we act in this world. The Bible reminds us and Second Corinthians six that we are every single Christian, every single day are supposed to separate ourselves from evil. Since we as Christians belong to Christ, we must choose to separate ourselves from evil. Next. We're doing great, aren't we? Very fine. Okay, let's. Let's talk. Arouse interest. Would you be interested? Oh, every red blooded male with now a good football story. I don't know. That's. That's certainly helpful. Introduce the subject. What will the subject be? Integrity. Honesty. Okay. So, again, choices to make that are difficult. Okay. We've probably different ways of saying it. Of course, the proposition is going to have to tell us which of these things it is ultimately right, Because when we know, it could be various things. Some point we've got to have the arrow to say this is it. And the proposition is that arrow. But recognize the general subject of integrity. Is there fallen this coming into view, something that's potentially wrong here? BRENNAN What's the possible problem? It is implied throughout the story, and that probably troubles us at some point, because at some point we've got to have a direct statement if it does come, but it may have come a little late, so we'll talk about it. So we know that it's going to be problems with integrity, problems of keeping your witness when pressures around. So we know that general subject prepares cares for the proposition in concept and terminology. What do you have for proposition? Since we. Since we belong to Christ, we must. Was it Choose to separate yourself from evil? Was there a choosing there, Steven? Okay.

[00:28:53] I thought so. We must choose to separate from evil. Was there language of separate from evil in there? Clearly. Was there things about choosing to do? So was the language. And what would he choose to do? Was that in there? Clearly, we belong to Christ. Was that language in there? Kim getting head shaking. Steve. You may have mentioned it. I'm looking for you. Where are you? Steven was there belong to Christ Language in the introduction anywhere? In Britain for. Well, fine. Your assignment will still be a plus. But isn't it interesting that our ears knew it wasn't there? And the reason is, when it came, it surprised us. We hadn't heard that language. So you see how your ear is kind of trained? That you're telling me what that subject is in the introduction. So when I get the identification of the subject and it's not the wording that I'm expecting, my ear picks up automatically. Oh, that's not what you said we'd be talking about. So good. I think that's there in writing and can give us a good example to talk about. So concept and terminology of both clauses is there, at least in writing opening Senate stands alone. What was the opening you remember? Now that's just really right on. I mean, we we know that that hero is zero language that, you know, what would the headline say? You know, we are ready to hear what the rest of this message is about. So in that opening sentence stands alone, just very good. The FCF becomes personal for the listener. Now, this requires you both to identify what the FCF is and then say that he wrote me in. How did he do that? Did he do that? Britain, you had some questions about whether he wrote them on the FCF.

[00:30:40] It's. What he said was he said the football player, what he did. Now, again, Stephen is, I think, rightly making a choice. It's more important that I communicate than I follow word for word what I write in my notes. But he said, what Stephen did is different from what we see in society and different from the. Way we act. So he said that the trouble is now that it is a long way away. What what is the it. So if he said something like what Steven did acted with integrity is so hard and so difficult, different from the way we can act now. I've suddenly got the FCF identified. It's hard and different from the way we act, but the it is integrity in difficult situations. So Stephen is probably all there in writing. But I think it's, you know, we kind of wonder what is the exact thing we're talking about? And did you say it's my problem? You with me. So you want to make sure that FCF is stated? Question. Very good. It is a way of getting it, getting a sense, those analytical questions right. What would you do? Would you find this difficult? You know, all of that kind of puzzle. But at some point, we got to know what the specific thing is. Okay. Again, it is the burden of the sermon. The negative thing that the whole sermon will be addressing with obviously redemptive truths. It's a negative thing because there's the gospel to deal with it. So that's going to be their delivery. Eye contact. Well, the answer is major. Yeah, very, very good. Could you hear him back there? Andy? Michael, could you hear? Okay. Not at times. You're saying that this is a rush. Okay.

[00:32:38] Certainly is my greatest tendency. I will tell you, when people kind of tell me they can't hear me, it's because I do what men in this culture do. We back away from strong statements of innocence. I really mean this. We drop the ends of statements when we're trying to say something with emphasis because we're trying not to offend people. So we kind of back away from power. And that's just something that we have to learn our way out of at times and just kind of keep the volume up at the ends of sentences. Who's got the name sheet? Oh, gestures. How are they? Easy. And. Have you ever noticed? When gestures are natural, they disappear. You don't even notice it then. And that's the way it's actually supposed to be, that the best speakers are transparent to their message. So you're you're not even aware I was watching him because I'm kind of trying to do it. But but he was just he was just very natural. And as a result, we don't even really think about it. If he'd done this, you know, we would have been very aware of it. If he'd done this, we would have been very he just had his hands here and occasionally he would gesture at the right. We don't even think about it just because it was so natural. Winning is just a piece of cake. At least that's how some people look at Lance Armstrong. He's a six time Tour de France champion. And may I add that he managed to do that in consecutive years. Armstrong is truly one tough guy to beat, even tougher than a bike race. So. No wonder some newspaper headlines named The Race after Armstrong. They called the race to the lens.

[00:34:19] Without a doubt. One needs a lot of preparation to participate in such a race proper diet, physical conditioning and drills indoors and outdoors while outperforming competitors in a race is tough enough. Armstrong will tell you that the toughest guy to beat is he himself. Because the race is more of a test of will than physical strength to win. One has to fully concentrate, and all time life is like a race. Only those who pay full attention and full concentration to go can ensure victory. But sometimes when the race gets tough, we may be overwhelmed by the obstacles and being dragged down by our weaknesses. GitHub seems to be attempting to ease the way out. Very often to struggle in success of a role model can motivate us to go on. Prominent figures like Armstrong everywhere around us, from Michael Jordan, one even to a guy named Jared in a subway commercial. Pull out the MVP. You look up to in life. In the Book of Healers, the author draws attention to some well known factors in the Old Testament and other unsung heroes in the church. History simply point out the fact that we are not alone. Because just like these Christians who finish before us, we are called to participate in a tough spiritual race. We must run with full concentration. Well, I am most impressed with the folks who are working past language and culture and still doing exactly what we're asking. Yeah. So that's that's so tremendous. Are you interested? Sure. I mean, talk about using the language of this culture, not only picking up an event like Lance Armstrong, but who are your MVP's? Did you hear that? You know, kind of like what a great way of pulling us in.

[00:36:44] What will the subject be? What will the subject of this message be? Running with concentration, overcoming obstacles to do so, something like that. So running the Christian race with concentration. What's the FCF? Philip, I think, said it just right. It is when the race gets tough, we tend to get overwhelmed by the hurdles. That's a pretty direct statement of the FCA that and that's just exactly right. When the race gets tough is that people out there, it's we tend to get overwhelmed with the hurdles and wonder if we could she could keep going and we lose our what? We lose our concentration. So. And then he even said language like we are sometimes helped by other examples and role models. Is that what this tech I mean when you start thinking about it's not just using the terms but the concepts, is this Hebrews passage going to be about other role models that keep us? You know, it is. So we're getting not just the bare terms, the introduction has the concepts of not just the message, but the passage already echoing in it. Opening Senate stands alone. Did you get it? Winning is just like what? Winning is just a winning piece of cake. Especially for. Lance Armstrong again. Very good thought. Very good way of getting us in. Becomes personal. Does he pull you in? What again, are the means of doing that? What are ways that he pulls us in to say this burden of the message you have this burden to we already know, he said. We sometimes struggle in the race to keep going. Here are some of the questions. Who are your role models? Who are your examples? Do you struggle? He's asking questions to pull us in as well.

[00:38:43] Bonds The Scripture. Does he mention the text? Sure he does. And we're ready to go. What's the proposition? Philip, you're trying to get the. Okay. Because we are called to run in a tough spiritual race, we must run with full concentration. Have you heard about full concentration in the introduction? Have you heard about running a race in the. Have you heard about. We are called to run the race. I'm not sure I heard that piece that struck me as kind of new information in the proposal. I wasn't right. Oh, we're called. Where Where do we talk about that? If you simply said because Christians run a tough race, I'm ready for that. But the calling language may be significant enough that it may have thrown my ear a little bit. Okay. Let's a pause. And I've asked you to do some things. I've asked you to look at your introductions and your propositions and make sure the key words of the proposition, both clauses appear within the introduction itself. Would you trade your paper with the person next to you and show them? Here's both clauses and here's where the key words of both clauses appear and person that they're giving it to be brave enough to say, I don't see these key words in that introduction. Okay. Are you ready for the next step? Continue to look at the other person's paper and identify the FCF. And again, with courage and boldness and great love, study the other person. Does it say what our problem is, not what somebody else does it? Does it relate the FCF to us? So is it a problem or a negative? And does it say we all deal with it? So those two things are a problem and rope us into the problem.

[00:40:46] Okay. Would you give it back to the person now? And I'm going to give you about 2 minutes to correct whatever you need to just in writing. If there's not a we all struggle with this problem. If the proposition does not have a principal and application, if there are key words missing. Take care of it. Right now we give you about 2 minutes to just fix it in writing. I'm being asked, did I give guidelines for time? And the answer is, yes, I did. Remember I said, you go beyond two thirds of a page. It's way too long. So. So you're you're basically looking at if you're done all the way across the page, half a page. But an introduction usually goes a minute and a half to 2 minutes. And 2 minutes is a real long one. Okay. So a minute and a half, that average. And it is interesting, our instincts kind of tell us, you know, we're just kind of accustomed to how long these things take and we're ready to roll. And part of that is because our evangelical, whatever it is, expectation that sermons are roughly 30 minutes long, you know, that if it's taking me 12 minutes to get to the first main point, we know that's a real problem. You know, so we somehow we have an instinct of how long these introductions take. Yeah. Right. What I what I can only do is kind of do it both ways to say under normal typeface, etc., etc.. It's about a half to two thirds of a page if. But if you've you've done other kinds of margins, which of course, you did a little bit today because I ask you to put things in the margin that I can only do it by the time length.

[00:42:32] And they're just talking about 90, 90 seconds to 2 minutes and and adjust accordingly. But if you've got about four pages, that's way too long. Yeah, of course. Yes. When we get to the lectures on illustration, we'll talk about advantages and disadvantages of different types of of analogies. And basically you can do anything, but not always. Okay. So I mean, the great temptation is, of course, our guys have got a lot of sports background. So every illustration is about sports guys from military background. So every illustration is about their military background. Or the guy who really loves his dog. And you know, every illustrator, you know. So, you know, you can do lots of different kinds of illustrations, but variety is the spice of life here, you know. So I think variety of from lots of different not just episodes of life, but even era eras of life, some biblical illustrations, some historical illustrations, some contemporary, you know, things that you kind of reach different places. Typically works best that there's that degree of variety. But sports illustrations are not wrong unless they're the only kind you're using, then that would be a problem. Let's go to lecture seven again. Let's go to lecture seven. And there's a piece which was on page four that we skipped for the moment, and we need to come back to it. Lecture seven and page four. Now, some of of our preaching just needs to deal with practicalities of a public presentation. Of a scriptural text. Now, if I'm saying that people look with me in your Bibles at first Thessalonians four verses 1 to 4. And now I just start begin to begin reading. For others, I would not have you ignorant concern. Now, what happens if I just start after I've announced the text? What's happening? Everybody.

[00:44:53] Wait, wait, wait. I'm not there yet, you know, And they're trying that. They're trying to turn in their Bibles are trying to get there. So you have some choices. You can just ignore their trauma and you can just keep reading, you know, or you can have this embarrassed, long silence and just kind of wait for everybody to get there while you're saying nothing. Now, curiously, preachers don't typically do that. You go all the way back to the 13th century, and there is this unusual name coming out of the history of humility. His name is Thomas Chabon of Salisbury, Thomas Chabon of Salisbury, who in a in I approach to humility is called the Summa. They are the protocol, which is the highest art of preaching. Okay. So he just says, Here's ways to do things. And he began with what he called the pro or the anti now not anti as against, but anti as and before the pro or the anti thing. That is something that is introducing the theme of the sermon prior to the reading of the text. In modern terms, this is known as the scripture introduction. And the scripture introduction is where we give just a little bit of background to the text before people read it. Now we're doing it for two reasons. One is so that they will have the context of what they're reading. So we give them a little background. At this point, Paul is in prison, but he hasn't lost his hope. And that's why he talks to the people of their hope. Let's read what it says. Now, I'm giving a little background, but what am I just practically doing at the same time? I'm stalling. That's right, Mike. So that's kind of what I'm stalling in the sense of I'm giving people time to get there.

[00:46:39] Now, what am I going to do when they get there, recognizing that everybody does this first Thessalonians my first line I want to hear that is in the. Oh, yes, it's a teaser all together. So let's set signs and Timothy. Okay. All right. I got it. Got it. Now I bump my neighbor in the ribs and I go, What do I say to my neighbor? What verse did he say? Right. Don't you know you do it too, don't you? Yeah. Now you got it. And you say, Now what verse of this. Now everybody else is doing that too. So in order to keep this conversation going throughout the congregation, what does the pastor do again? He re-analysis the text. Okay, so I announced the text today. We're going to be looking at first Thessalonians, the fourth chapter versus one through four. Now, what's happening here is Paul is in prison and he recognizes he has to give people hope. But the hope is in the face of life's greatest challenge, death itself. How can you have hope in the face of death? Paul is going to tell us live with me again. First, the signs for versus 1 to 4. I may even say it again versus lines for 1 to 4. And I'm giving people the chance to get there to locate it and then read with me. If I don't give them the opportunity to come along and read with me, what will they do? They will give up. We are a highly biblically illiterate culture, and if you don't allow people to get there and follow with you, even if you give them that time, many people will not know. You know, I speak in a great many churches, and I will tell you that no matter what time I give and how slowly I do it, probably 25 to 30% of the people will not look at the text in almost any church.

[00:48:23] They will not look at the text. Where will they look? They'll look at me now. How important is it for me to keep ladling with my eyes? Right. Just to like, if I just become a shallow look now at the text, even though I'm reading, I need to keep reading out to the people. Okay, So that's for everybody's sake. But I'm also giving people time to get their Western. Oh, great question. Is there ever a benefit to not reading along? And the answer is yes. Of course. There are times that you want to say, I just want you to hear how this passage goes. I want you to feel it. I don't think that's the norm, but certainly, certainly there are good times to do that. And most of the time we want because I'm going to be preaching on the text. We want them there so that we can do a pat and we'll talk about here shortly, which is state place. I'll state a truth, then I'll place it. Look with me at verse three, then I'll prove it. It says and I'll read the portion In a state place, Peru for an expositor is very, very important. I want to be able to say this is what the text says. Look with me and you'll know I'm speaking with the authority of the Word of God because you've got your Bibles open. And you see, I'm simply saying what it says. So for those reasons, now what goes into this profane? What goes into the scripture introduction? Couple of things. Number one, as you think of the purpose of scripture introductions. Number one, you are contextualizing the text. You're contextualizing the text, explaining key words or concepts. So the text can be understood.

[00:49:58] I mean, maybe people in your congregation, everyone knows what the Levites are, and maybe very few know what the Levites are. So you may say this is the priestly tribe of Ezra, the ones who lead and worship. Now, you're not going to say a whole lot, but you can say enough that they know what that text refers to. The second thing is you're trying to create a longing for the content of the passage so the text can be heard. Now that's the one to star and underline and put highlights around and everything else. It is the beauty and yet the slight disadvantage of learning preaching in an academic institution that everyone will do. Number one, contextualize. At this point, Paul is in prison. At this point, Israel has already been wandering for 40 years to everybody knows to do that. But to develop those pastoral instincts where you say. Have you ever wondered, and for a long time wondered when God was going to get you to the goal? These people wondered how did God speak to them? To do something that says, Come with me into this text. Particularly in this culture where people do not understand that the text applies to them with meaning. Okay, there. Now, various congregations I know will vary greatly, but we are dealing with the notion of this wasn't just some remote thing long ago. This has meaning for you today and seek to pull people in to the Scripture reading because the great tendency, sadly, is to think, You know what? Even me. I have to get through the scripture reading so I can get to the really important stuff. My sermon. Instead of saying this is the word of God, I want you to hear this.

[00:51:49] I want you to know what's important to you. And if all we do is that contextualization, Israel has been in wandering for 40 years. Paul has already dealt with the subject of justification. Now he's going to deal with sanctification. If we only do this kind of literary, historical recap things, we're pushing things away from people instead of pulling them in. And don't you need to know that now that you're gods, things can get better? Don't you want to know that? That's what this passage says. So you're doing it now. You're doing it very quickly. In the example that was given to you, you remember in your readings excuse me, in your lecture notes, the sample sermon that's there. Let me find it here. The scripture introduction is usually only 3 to 4 sentences. It is not another sermon in itself. You're trying to be very brief. This is actually a fairly long one. Paul's second letter to Timothy was written at the very end of the Apostles life. And it concludes this letter to his young protege with some final words of direction and encouragement. When Paul is writing these lines, he realizes that his death is near, that his race is almost over. And so therefore he is handing the baton of his ministry to Timothy, his faithful but timid young disciple and friend. The charge that Paul gives to Timothy in this passage will encourage us and help us understand how we are to proclaim the truth of God's Word in the diverse situations we face every day. See that little tag at the end to pull us in. I think you could strengthen it. But at the same time, you're saying, I'm not just talking about Paul's context. I'm talking about our context.

[00:53:39] When you hear me begin to evaluate your sermons, I will call this the sea and the sea. Contextualization and creation of longing, contextualization and creation of longing when you do your scripture introductions. Does it have the CMC? Contextualization. Do I know why we're reading this kind of where it is historically, biblically? Again, it's not a whole sermon. Recognize a lot of people aren't even hearing you at this point, right? You're giving them time to get to the text. But at the same time, you're trying to pull them into the text. And that's the creation of longing. Component two. So those are the two most important things contextualization, creation of longing. I have an assumption, and it's the Thomas Chapman of Salisbury's assumption. It is that the Scripture reading is going with the sermon. Is that true in all of your churches? No. In some of your churches, the scripture reading goes much earlier in the service. Now, you may be helpful to have a scripture introduction even there, but my assumption is that this is what's happening. There is a scripture introduction. There is a scripture reading. There is a prayer for illumination. And then there is the sermon introduction. And I won't try to defend all that and say, you know, this is the only right way, this is all it is. And there's a certain practicality to how this unfolds. Do you ever find preachers who want to pray for the Scripture reading before they read it? Of course, sometimes there can be very strong readings, even theological readings, to ask for the blessing of the Holy Spirit before you even read the text. The difficulty of doing that is you have now separated the reading from the Scripture introduction. You are trying to get people in, so you get them to turn to it and now you stop and pray.

[00:55:28] And now you've kind of lost why they were reading. So there's just kind of an order that preachers have adopted that has both strengths and weaknesses. But that's a fairly standard order. Now, those first two of the most important of the senses, number three, what else are you doing? You're allowing pause. You allowing pause. Number four, you may slice out the portions of the text that will not be dealt with. You may be reading versus 1 to 13 and telling people I'm right. Have you ever heard a pastor say, we're going to read the whole thing for context, but I'm only going to focus on verses two and three? Ever heard a pastor say that they do it in a scripture intro? They know what they're saying. We can get the whole context, but we're really going to focus right here. And that happens in the Scripture intro, and then we'll get into it in another semester or so. Do it now. But just in your notes you may be providing narrative summary in the Scripture intro narrative summary. Some narratives in Scripture can go How long? Chapter upon chapter. So I may be using the Scripture intro to say, Now what's happening in the life of David is this. There's where we find him. Now let's hear what he says just at this moment. And we may just read three or four verses, but I may have to summarize three chapters. So my scripture intro can often be a place that I summarize a lot of material to focus on something fairly narrow and read it all right. At the bottom of your page, you just kind of see a standard order for presenting the components of the message, and we'll do more of that later.

[00:56:59] For now, I just want you to recognize that there is the Scripture intro that is separate from the sermon. Intro serves a different function, one of which is largely pragmatic. Just give people time to get there. Whereas the sermon intro is very much saying, Come with me into this message and deal with a problem that we all know God needs to deal with today in our lives. And that's what the sermon intro is accomplishing. We'll talk more later. Would you on your way out? Leave your assignments on that back window again and read ahead now for next time to the next lecture material. See you next time. Great work today, guys.