Preaching Essentials: Truth-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 Truth-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 a truth-anchored proposition, you identify only one truth principle, and pair it with multiple applications.

Step 1: Identify a truth principle.

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

  • God desires our prayers

Step 2: Determine several practical applications for the main points.

When using a truth-anchored proposition, each practical application for the truth principle becomes a main point. A question you can use to help you discover relevant practical applications is, “So what?” Simply ask, “So what?” to your truth principle, and use the answers as your practical applications and therefore, your main points. When phrasing your application, try to use the words, “We should” or “We must” or “We need to”.

Keeping with the previous example, if the truth principle is, “God desires our prayers”, some of the answers to the “So what?” question might be:

  • We should pray continually
  • We should pray fervently
  • We should pray correctly

Here is a basic outline for this sermon development method:  

[Main Idea]
[Truth-Anchored Proposition: Truth principle only]

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

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