Preaching Essentials: Topical 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 Topical Method. It is very simple, and requires only two steps.

Step 1: Select a topic.

Once you have the main idea of the scripture, you select a topic, or theme, from the main idea. For instance, if the main idea is, “Jesus taught His disciples how to pray”, you might use one of the following as a topic:

  • Prayer
  • Questions on Prayer
  • What Jesus Says About Prayer
  • What is the “Lord’s Prayer”?

Step 2: Choose questions for the main points.

Each main point will be the answer to a question regarding your topic. Questions should begin with either: what, why, when, who, or how.

A common way of doing this is to ask a “what” question for main point #1, a “why” question for main point #2, and a “how” question for main point #3. Please note that the answers to these questions might not be in your main scripture. In such cases, use a concordance, or some sort of topical reference, to find other scriptures that will help you answer these questions.

Keeping with the previous example, if your topic is “Prayer”, then here are some questions you could ask:

  • What is prayer?
  • Why should we pray?
  • When should we pray?
  • Who do we pray to?
  • How are we supposed to pray?

Here is a basic outline for this sermon development method:

[Main Idea]

[Introduction: Be sure to introduce the topic and read the scripture]

[Main Point #1: What is … ?]
[Main Point #2: Why should we …?]
[Main Point #3: How do we …?]