- For what two reasons do we include an introduction to a sermon?
a. To gain the attention of the hearer.
b.To make the connection of the theme to the text. To make the connection of life to the text in a way that encourages the hearers interest.
- Consider the pros and cons of the following statement: An introduction is intended to enlist the attention and the good will of the hearer.
- This chapter lists seven faults to avoid in introductions. In general, which of these do you think is the most common?
(1) Beginning far afield, that is with an introduction that does not help communicate the text.
(2) “Digressing.” This is similar to “beginning far afield.” This type of introduction may begin with a totally unrelated area.
(3) Anticipating the sermon proper. Information about the text as well as explanation of the text belongs in the sermon, not the introduction.
(4) Treating a separate subject. This introduction talks about another topic in the text that is not in the sermon.
(5) Developing a stereotyped form. Be aware of the sermons that you do and be aware of the way that you present texts. If something you say or do in a sermon introduction is the same almost all the time, that makes a bad introduction.
(6) Engaging in polemics. The introduction should not talk about an argument that is going on. Something controversial may need to be dealt with in the sermon, but it is best not to do so in the introduction.
(7) Sharing one’s study thoughts. People are not interested in everything you learned about the text or the process you used to write the sermon. Those types of comments should not be used anywhere in the sermon
- What are the four sources of introductory material for sermons?
Life situations and experiences are some of the best for introductions. Use situations in the life of the synod, congregation, religious world, in the community, and in the nation. The situation must actually apply to the text.
The church year will offer material for the introduction.
If the connection between the theme and the text is not obvious, the introduction can be used to show the connection. The introduction may also underscore the importance of the theme for the faith and life of the congregation.
The text may offer a fourth source, but be careful about covering things that should be in the sermon. An introduction from the text may speak about the history of the text, a person in the text or a situation.
An interesting word or phrase in the text may make a good introduction.
- What, above all else, determines the need for a conclusion?
A conclusion is to recapitulate the sermon. Recapitulation means to weave things from the sermon together to complete the sermon, for clarity.
A conclusion “helps to fix the chief thoughts of the sermon in the hearer’s mind.”
6. List the essential qualities of a good conclusion in the order of importance you attach to them. Briefly explain your reasons for ranking them in the order you did.
(1) Make the conclusion fit. It cannot be contrived. A good conclusion “brings it all together, rounds it out and properly completes it.
(2) Make it brief.
(3) Give it appeal. Appeals help to persuade. It touches the emotion. The conclusion is an apt place for a forceful appeal.
(4) Make it direct. Speak to God’s people, not about them.
7. What should the conclusion accomplish for the hearer?