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Home School Of Preaching Outline of Jay Adams’ “Preaching with Purpose”

Outline of Jay Adams’ “Preaching with Purpose”

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Outline of Jay Adams’ “Preaching with Purpose”


First Published in the Ordained Servant—Vol. 11, No. 2

I. The centrality of purpose.

A. There is so much purposeless preaching today.

A. Purposeless preaching has made dull
preachers, hindered truth and stifled service for Christ.
A. Purpose ought to control the preacher’s thinking and actions from start to finish in the preparation and delivery of sermons.
I. What is preaching?

A. There are two kinds of preaching.
1. Evangelistic.
1. Edificational.

Suggested Homework: List at least 25 practises associated with preaching. Ask of each how many are biblical?

II. What is Preaching?

A. Elements of preaching.
1. Content in the form of a biblical message.
1. A preacher.
1. An occasion.
1. Listeners.
1. The Holy Spirit.

A. Homiletics ought to teach you:
1. How to remove all obstacles to preaching the truth.
1. How to make the message as clear as possible.
1. How to point the listener to Christ alone as the foundation for his belief and action.

Suggested Homework: From your study of the epistles determine 20 ways a church might need to be edified,
Describe how you would do this in your preaching.

III. The purpose of preaching.

A. The purpose of preaching is to effect changes among the congregation.
1. I Cor. 14:3 states that the purposes of preaching are edification, assistance and encouragement.
1. Matt. 28:20 states that the purpose of preaching is to observe Christ’s word.

A. Preaching is to effect changes among the congregation, individually and corporately.
1. One must be built up to love God.
1. One must be built up to love one’s neighbors.

IV. The purpose of preaching the Bible.

A. To obey God; 2 Tim. 4:2 .
A. To preach authority.
A. To preach with power; Isa. 55:10-11 .
A. To preach effectively.
A. To preach at all!

V. Determining the preaching portion.
A. The Spirit’s telos is the determining factor. A unit of material that the Spirit devotes to a particular purpose.
A. Both general and specific purposes need to be kept in mind in determining the telos of a particular book or passage.

1. The bible itself has a telos and tele.
a. Telos: Glory of God.
a. Tele: 2 Tim. 3:15-17 .
1. Each book normally has a telos and tele.
A. Avoid arbitrary factors such as “preach on a paragraph”.

VI. Determining the telos.

A. The telos or intention of the Holy Spirit in the passage must be sought.
1. Includes all valid applications that the Spirit intended to make from any principles that may be generalized from the basic thrust of the passage.
1. Avoid at all costs imposing your own purposes on the passage.

A. There are three general purposes:
1. To inform.
1. To convince (to believe or disbelieve).
1. To motivate.

A. Helps to discover the purpose.
1. Ask, “Now, what does this all amount to?”
1. Look for telic cues or statements.

VII. Analyzing the congregation.

A. By means of informal contacts.
1. Necessary to preach well. To preach to people as they really are, you must see and hear them as they really are.
1. Don’t limit your informal contacts to a limited group. That will distort your view of the congregation. Moreover, you must be a friend to all.

A. By means of counseling contacts.
1. Necessary to preach well. Discover the problems your people are dealing with.
1. Won’t truly understand a passage, until you see how it is applied in your life and in the life of your congregation.

A. By means of formal contacts.
1. New church: look at old bulletins to see what has been preached.
1. Visit representative groups of persons.
1. Review your counseling records.
1. Probe your session.
1. Go over each name on the roll prayerfully and thoughtfully. Try to evaluate each person’s situation as best as you can.

The preacher’s stance.

A. Must distinguish between the lecturer’s stance and the preachers stance toward the bible.
1. The lecturer speaks about the bible.
1. The preacher speaks from the bible about the congregation.

A. The preacher’s stance.
1. Makes the Spirit’s purpose his own.
1. Concerned about the here and now.
1. Speaks largely in the present tense to the congregation, about God and themselves on the basis of what God said and did to others and to them in Bible times.
1. Engages the whole person.

A. The lecturer’s stance.
1. Only purpose is to inform.
1. Concerned about the past.
1. Speaks largely in the past tense and in third person.
1. Engages the intellect.

VIII. A preaching outline.

A. The purpose of an outline is to cue you to preach.

1. Preaching is speaking and thus should be extemporaneous and not written and read or written and memorized.
1. A full sentence outline is best. Provides the best of both worlds.

A. Preaching format:
1. Here and now.
1. Second person emphasis.
1. Concrete.
1. In terms of the congregation.
1. Persuasive or motivational.

A. Lecture format.
1. Then and there.
1. Third person emphasis.
1. Abstract.
1. In terms of others.
1. Informative.

A. The distinctives of a preaching outline.
1. A preaching outline is the outline of a message directed to people in order to change them in some way that God wants to see them changed.
1. A preaching outline applies from start to finish. In one sense the whole sermon is application.
1. The difference between preaching and lecturing is not the material but in the use of the same material. The handling and orientation of the material is different.

A. Important facts on outlines.
1. Place emphasis where it belongs.
1. Make sure it is a preaching outline.
1. Make sure your outline achieves its purpose by going over your conclusion.
1. Only announce your points if it serves a useful biblical purpose.
1. Don’t follow the form or division of the text unless it naturally falls into preaching divisions.

VIII. Purposeful introductions.

A. The purpose of an introduction.
1. To arrest and orient the congregation to the content of the sermon.
1. To interest the congregation in the sermon.

A. How to arrest and interest the congregation.
1. Begin with the congregation and not the text.
1. If interest is already high begin with a statement or series of questions or both.
a. Don’t use this format in every sermon.
a. Don’t use it when there is little or no expectancy in the congregation.
a. Don’t use it when an explanation of one sort or another is in order.
1. If interest is not high begin with a short story or a startling statement.

a. Startling statement.
i. Don’t use it too often.
i. Choose your words carefully.
i. Use it only when it is needed.
i. Maintain the high level of interest throughout the sermon. Keep these sermons brief for a greater impact.

a. Short story, example or incident.
i. Never use a story that
does not truly introduce.
i. Don’t drag the story out too long.
i. Use dialogue and descriptive color.
i. Involve the congregation in the story.

(A) Tell a story about the congregation itself.
(A) Tell a story about something or someone in which the congregation is interested.
(A) Tell a story and then at its conclusion, in one sentence, apply it to the congregation.
1. “In the introduction, economy is of the essence.”
1. Introductions will often come to you at the end of your preparation.

VIII. Purposeful conclusions.

A. Conclusions are extremely important.
A. How not to conclude a sermon.
1. Do not introduce new material in the conclusion.
1. Do not have multiple conclusions.
1. Don’t end abruptly.
1. Don’t fade away.
1. Don’t fumble around looking for a way out.
1. Don’t generally, if ever, end with a verse of poetry or hymn.
A. The conclusion either summarizes, applies or implements truth, or, as in most instances, does some or all of the above.

A. How to conclude a sermon.
1. Conclude in terms of the introduction.
1. Conclude with a story: can be effective but hard to do.
1. Conclude with a series of appeals in the form of a command or question cluster.
1. Conclude with some sort of implementation.
A. The purpose of the conclusion is not merely to bring the sermon to an end but to capsulize and capitalize on the sermon telos.

VIII. Evangelistic invitations.

A. We need to urge, exhort, encourage in our preaching. We need to press for a response.
A. “The answer, then, to the question of invitations or no invitations is: ‘Give a biblical invitation to profess faith in Christ and be added to the number in
baptism.’ This invitation may be issued, as Peter issued it, in the evangelistic message, usually as a part of its conclusion.”

VIII. Purposeful planning.

A. Plan six months ahead.
1. Do the exegesis and outline your sermon in rough form.
1. Gather illustrations and allow your thoughts to mature.

1. Put your sermon into final form a couple of weeks before you preach it.

A. Reasons for planning ahead.
1. Allows for interruptions and emergencies during the week.
1. Gain perspective on the text.
1. Illustrations come naturally.
1. Gain overall view of the book you are preaching through.
1. Solve the problems of an exegetical conscience.
1. So you won’t ride hobby horses.

VIII. Sense appeal.

A. The purpose of sense appeal is to add the dimension of reality to truth by helping them to experience what you are teaching them.
1. There is a great difference between thinking something and experiencing it.
1. To experience something is to engage the appropriate emotions.
1. The preacher needs to experience the truth if he wants to move his listeners.

1. Need to appeal to all of the senses, not just sight.
A. Emotions may be aroused by sense appeal through the use of:
1. Evocative language.
a. Evocativeness depends on context and audience.
a. The Bible is full of evocative language; Eg. Prov. 25-26 .
1. Storytelling.

a. Three types of stories.
i. Full stories (illustrations or parables); Luke 15 .
i. Abbreviated stories (examples); Luke 13:1-5 .
i. Mini-stories (instances); Matt. 6:26,28 .

a. Elements of good stories.
i. Contains persons in action and/or conversation.
i. Contains dialogue.

a. Format of a story.
i. Background; Luke 15:11 - 12.
ii. A complication or problem; Luke 15:13 .
i. Suspense; Luke 15:14-21 .
i. Climax; Luke 15:22,23 .
i. Conclusion; Luke 15:24 .

a. The purpose of stories.

i. To clarify truth.
ii. To concretize and personalize truth, integrating principles with life today.
ii. To make truth memorable.
ii. To demonstrate how a principle works.
ii. To back a claim.
ii. To create interest.
ii. To involve the listener.
1. Sound.
1. Gestures and other bodily actions.

VIII. Gathering storytelling materials.

A. Requires structure and practice.
1. Limit yourself to the study for six months.
1. Gather 2 illustrations every day using all of your senses.
1. Don’t limit yourself to the unusual or sensational. Use the common and ordinary.
1. Rework them on Saturday.
a. Put them into better form (arrangement and language).
a. Make new uses or applications of the material.
B. Use materials in books, magazines and newspapers.
C. Avoid books of illustrations and examples and stories in other men’s sermons.
1. Makes you lazy and dependent.
1. Find your own material! More genuine!
D. Don’t use the Bible illustratively, only authoritatively.

VIII. A preaching style.

A. Styles to avoid.
1. 'Preachy' (KJV language) style.
1. ‘Scholastic’ style.
1. ‘Conversational’ style. Poor grammar and vocabulary.

A. “A good preaching style is a plain (but not drab), unaffected (but not unstudied) style that gets in there and gets the job done without calling attention to itself.”

A. How to better use the vocabulary you already have.

1. Be concrete. Avoid abstractions.
2. Be precise. Choose the exact term.
3. Be ruthless. Get rid of poor words, phrases etc.
4. Be persistent. Practice.

IX. Counseling and preaching.

A. Counseling uncovers problems in persons preachers must know about.
1. Excuse making.
2. Lack of discipline.
3. Presence of complicating problems.
4. Failure to repent.

B. Knowledge of counseling principles will be useful to the preacher.
1. See Ready to Restore, pp. 32-38.
2. Eg. Change is a two-factored process.
C. Implementation of biblical truth (‘How to’) is just as important in preaching as it is in counseling; Matt. 5-7 .

X. Application of truth.

A. The Bible itself is application. God did not reveal truth in the abstract and leftit up to the preacher to ‘apply it’. God delivered His message not only towardthe original audience but also towardthe church in all ages to follow; Rom.4:23-24; 1 Cor. 9:8-10 ; Rom. 15:4 .

B. Therefore, it is God’s task to apply the Scriptures, not the preachers’. The preacher’s task is to discover what that application is and to translate the passage into contemporary forms.

C. Need to separate the basic and ongoing factors from those of the temporary and incidental.

XI. The Purpose of implementation.

A. The purpose of implementation is to enable the congregation to obey (implement) the thrust of your sermon.
B. In implementing biblical truth it is important to distinguish plainly between biblical commands, principles, practices, biblically directed ‘how to’ and
suggested biblically derived ‘how to’ devised from the preacher.

XII. Preaching Christ.

A. Moralism (legalistic, ignores the grace of God and replaces the work of Christ with self-help) must be avoided in preaching.

B. All you say and do in preaching must be related to Christ; it must be related to His saving and His sanctifying work.

XIII. Delivery and purpose.

A. Delivery or manner (voice and body) is important because it communicates a certain message.

B. What to work on in delivery:

1. Not allowing personal practices to get in the way of the message.
2. A flexibility in the use of voice and body broad enough to match the wide spectrum of biblical teaching.
3. A willingness to allow the biblical content to determine how your voice and body will respond, regardless of what that requires.

C. “The delivery you should seek is a delivery that is formed, informed and influenced by God’s truth. The best preacher is the one who allows his voice
and body to become a well-tuned instrument in the hands of the Holy Spirit.”


First Published in the Ordained Servant—Vol. 11, No. 2


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