Preaching Essentials: Application-Anchored Proposition Method

There are 5 sermon development methods we will cover in "Preaching Essentials":

  1. Topical Method
  2. Goal Driven Method
  3. Truth-Anchored Proposition Method
  4. Application-Anchored Proposition Method
  5. Bible Study Method

These sermon development methods come into play in the 4th step of our "4 Steps of Sermon Development".

This is the Application-Anchored Proposition Method.

A proposition is simply a statement that summarizes [1] the truth and [2] the practical application of the sermon.

Propositions can be either truth-anchored, or application-anchored. With an application-anchored proposition, you identify only one application, and pair it with multiple truths.

Step 1: Identify a practical application.

Once you have the main idea of the scripture, you need to identify a practical application. What application is being suggested or commanded in this passage of scripture? This application may be apparent in your main idea, or you may need to look closely at individual verses to discover it. For instance, if your main idea is, “Jesus taught His disciples how to pray”, then you might identify this practical application:

  • Christians should pray

Step 2: Determine several truth principles for the main points.

When using an application-anchored proposition, each main point is a truth principle that supports the practical application. A question you can use to help you discover relevant truth principles is, “Why?” Simply ask, “Why?” to your practical application, and use the answers as your truth principles and therefore, your main points.

Keeping with the previous example, if the practical application is, “Christians should pray”, some of the answers to the “Why?” question might be:

  • God desires our prayers
  • God hears our prayers
  • God responds to our prayers

Here is a basic outline for this sermon development method:  

[Scripture]
[Main Idea]
[Application-Anchored Proposition: Practical application only]

[Introduction: Be sure to read the scripture, as well as introduce and explain the practical application]

[Main Point #1: 1st truth principle – Transition by saying, “(Practical application) because (truth principle)]
[Main Point #2: 2nd truth principle – Transition by saying, “(Practical application) because (truth principle)]
[Main Point #3: 3rd truth principle – Transition by saying, “(Practical application) because (truth principle)]

[Conclusion]