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How To Prepare A Sermon

This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Josh Philpot continues a discussion with Dr. Richard Caldwell they've had on the last few episodes about pastors, preaching, and teaching. This week Dr. Philpot is interested in how Dr. Caldwell goes about constructing a sermon. He is interested in knowing about the process that Dr. Caldwell undertakes. He asks him to share the process he goes through, where he begins, and how it takes shape.

Dr. Caldwell shares that translating the text, a lexical study, and diagraming a passage are all part of preparing sermons. He undertakes a seven-step process where each step begins with the letter S. He shares one at a time and unpacks them as he moves along for clarity purposes.

  1. Seek it – First, you seek the truth. This step is the exegetical process; it’s reading the text taking note of the elements of the text, and paying attention to the definition of words and their syntactical relationship.
  2. See it – Second is to see it; by way of the first step. This step involves getting to the point of the meaning of the text. Arriving at this involves understanding the multiple elements in the text and getting clarity in his own mind where he can see the truth that is in the text.
  3. Savor it – Third, you savor it by meditating on the text and then begin to ask questions: What is the purpose for this? What is the end for this? What difference does this make in his understanding of God, people, and the world? He is asking these questions first for his own heart and life, needing to preach the text to himself before he can preach it to anyone else. He believes that preaching is an act of worship and that glorifying God has to begin in his own personal study before it can take place in the pulpit. So, he must submit his own mind and heart to it by examining his life, confessing sin, and dealing with things that the Lord exposes and challenges him with.
  4. Say it – He asks, how do I present this, how do I best communicate this, and allow the contour of the text itself to rule? Yet asking, at the same time, how can he best get these truths into the hearers. He spends more time preparing (10 - 15 hours) for the sermons he preaches than in the actual time of preaching (45 mins – 1 hour), so this is important. He writes his manuscripts just as if he plans to read them, and he does read them out loud to himself several times. But it isn’t a manuscript for people to read and follow along with as he preaches. Sermons are for ears, not eyes. There is a difference between what the eye can take in and what the ear can take in.
  5. Sift it – This is reading the sermons out loud, again before he preaches them, after having set them aside for a time. He allows for enough time to make changes, usually reading the morning sermon the night before, and the evening sermon in the afternoon before he preaches them.
  6. Serve it – This is preaching the sermon. As he goes to the pulpit, he understands that it all depends on God. If he is going to have any effectiveness in what he does as he preaches, it must be done in the power of the Holy Spirit. He recognizes that he needs the Lord’s help to do what he is called to do in delivering God’s Word to the people and always seeking to do his very best for the Lord.
  7. Saturate it – The entire process should be saturated with prayer. Prayer should take place before, during, and after. He explains that his praying takes place as he prepares, preaches, and even after preaching so that the seed of God's Word would not be stolen away from the hearers. He asks the Lord for it to take deep root and for the aftermath to be long-lasting.

Two other questions Dr. Philpot asks and receives answers to are: Does Dr. Caldwell make emotional appeals in his sermons, evangelistic exhortations, or implore people to turn from sin to Christ? And, if he, Dr. Philpot, were to read along with Dr. Caldwell’s manuscript as he delivers the sermon, would he notice deviation?

As Dr. Caldwell answers these questions, he shares some wise and seasoned advice. He tells us that the manuscript he writes is not inerrant, nor is his manuscript inspired. For him to deviate from it is no problem. But to deviate from the Scriptures, which are inerrant and inspired, would be a serious problem. Additionally, he shares that he does not recommend going to the pulpit with your sermon written out, having never accessed anyone else's thoughts about the text. He says this is a very dangerous thing to do. While you may think you see it clearly, it is always helpful to see what someone else has seen. This is part of the humility aspect of it. To think that we are wiser than everybody else is silly and foolish.

About The Straight Truth Podcast

The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net

The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo.  The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.

The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.

The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.

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Season 20 Credits

Produced by
Juan Carlos Claveria

Executive Producers
Joshua Philpot
David Anders

Hosted by
Joshua Philpot

Social Media Descriptions by
Michele Watson

Graphic Design
David Navejas

DP / EDITING / COLOR
JUAN CARLOS CLAVERIA

SPECIAL THANKS TO THE
FOUNDERS BAPTIST CHURCH
MEDIA TEAM VOLUNTEERS

Special Thanks to
El Centro Network

Music by
LynneMusic

Motion Graphics
Szymon Masiak

Set Decorator
Molly Atchison

Walking In Grace Produces The Straight Truth Podcast - The Best Christian Podcast On The Web

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