I. Planning For Preaching 为讲道做计划
It is wise for the preacher to do plan important aspects of sermon planning in advance. Careful, advanced planning will save the preacher from hurried decisions that allow too little thought or time to prepare well designed and effective sermons. Following are some suggestions for planning ahead to help preachers of God’s life-giving Word to prepare messages that will serve the needs of the hearers.
A. Selecting Sermon Texts 选择讲章的经文
One important area of careful planning for preaching is selecting sermon texts from the Bible well before they will be studied and developed into sermons. Some of the common methods of selecting texts with their strengths and weaknesses are as follows:
Following A Church Year Lectionary/Pericope.
Many Christian preachers follow a one year or multiple-year series of biblical texts that have been carefully chosen to treat major events and teachings over the course of a year. These series consist of an Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lesson for each Sunday. These series are called either a “lectionary” which means “readings” or a “pericope” which literally means “a cutting out” and refers to a set of Bible verses that form a unit of thought that is suitable for reading and preaching.
The Christian Church year begins with a focus on the life and work of Jesus Christ, starting with His coming into the world and proceeding to cover His ministry and revelation of Himself as the Savior, His suffering and death, and finally His resurrection and ascension. The second half of the Christian Church year covers more general themes that address the Christian’s faith and life.
Following a Church Year Lectionary or Pericope has the advantages of having texts already laid out in manageable sections and an orderly way for the preacher to work with. The lectionaries or pericopes offer biblical material that is varied and rich in doctrinal and practical content. This method helps the preacher avoid a tendency to avoid certain teachings or to focus only on favorite topics in his preaching.
The disadvantages of this method are minor. Some texts may prove to be too difficult for an inexperienced preacher to work with. Some of the appointed lessons for a particular Sunday may not address some urgent needs that arise in the congregation. In cases like this the preacher may wish to substitute a more suitable text.
Choosing Books Of The Bible.
Some choose to preach through entire books of the Bible. One great advantage of this method is that people can become more familiar with the contents of individual books. One great challenge is to divide the Bible book into sections that are suitable for sermon texts.
Another way to choose sermon texts is to preach on a series that runs for a number of weeks. Some examples of sermon series are 1） the parts of The Apostles Creed, 2） the parts of The Lord’s Prayer, 3） the Parables of Jesus, 4） the Miracles of Jesus, 5）， the 7 Letters to the Churches of the Revelation, 6） the 7 “I Am” Statements of Jesus in the Gospel of John, 7） Jesus’ 7 Statements from the Cross, 8） The Beatitudes Jesus taught in Matthew 5:1-11, 9） The Ten Commandments. Using a series allows for a special focus on some aspect of Biblical teaching.
另一种选择讲章经文的方式是在数周内按照一个系列来讲道。一些讲章系列的例子有1）使徒信经的一部分， 2）主祷文的一部分， 3）耶稣的比喻，4）耶稣所行的神迹，5）启示录中写给七间教会的书信，6）在约翰福音中耶稣所说的七个“我是”,7）十架七言，8）在马太福音5:1-11中，耶稣的登山宝训的教导，9）十诫。使用一个系列可以专注于圣经教导的某一方面。
Preacher’s Weekly Choice.
Some prefer to personally choose a text to preach on from week to week. This method allows for the preacher to quickly address current needs in the congregation. One potential drawback to this approach is that the preacher settle on making choices that omits key teachings that would benefit God’s people.
B. Criteria For A Good Sermon Text 优秀的讲章经文的评判准则
No matter which method or combination of methods a person uses to select Biblical texts for preaching, there are some important criteria to keep in mind regarding a suitable text.
A good text for preaching will:
Be a complete unit of thought.
Have adequate material that is of practical value to the hearer.
Contain some specific Law and Gospel.
II. Special Sermons 特殊讲章
A preacher of God’s Word will occasionally be required to preach for special occasions. These special occasions will require the selection of appropriate texts from which to develop sermons. Some of these occasions and things to keep in mind while selecting texts for them follow.
A. Wedding Sermons 婚礼讲章
Weddings call for positive, joyful and encouraging messages. Some things to include in wedding sermons are the sacredness of marriage, God’s loving purposes for marriage, the duties of spouses and their relationship, God’s interest and care for people in marriage, and the message of sin and grace, Law and Gospel especially for those in attendance who are not Christians.
B. Funeral Sermons 葬礼讲章
Funerals require positive, comforting and hopeful messages. Some things to include in funeral sermons are the reality of death, the blessed condition of departed believers, the hope of the resurrection, the comfort of God’s promises, the glories of everlasting life with God, and the way of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
C. Mission Of The Church Sermons 教会事工的讲章
Church dedications, church anniversaries and mission festivals are occasions in which the preacher will want to emphasize the wonderful mission God has given His believers to make disciples for Christ through the preaching and teaching of God’s Word. Mission of the Church sermons are occasions to focus attention of the proclaiming of the true Word of God, sharing the Gospel with unbelievers, and using God’s Word to strengthen and build of the faith of Christians.