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PR2313 Homiletics

W. Shannon Potter

Sermon Thesis & Expanded Sermon Outline Worksheet

Determine the Sermon Thesis and Main Points
(Preaching Gods Word pp. 100-114)
The Sermon Thesis: The Sermon Thesis statement is the essence of the Text Thesis
(writers focus in passage) in a sentence that communicates to your listeners. The Sermon
Thesis statement is the biblical truth of the preaching text applied to life today.
This is also referred to as the sermons Big Idea or the homiletical idea. It is the one thing
the sermon is saying from the biblical text. The balance of your sermon will evolve around
your sermons thesis.
a. Sermon Thesis Examples: (also see Preaching Gods Word pp. 102, 103)

Thank God regularly for the Christians you know because of what God has done
for them and is doing through them. (1 Thessalonians 1:2-10)
Win respect for yourself both by the way you live and the way you teach. (1
Timothy 4:12-16)
You are not the person you used to be; therefore, dont handle life as used to
handle it. (Romans 6:1-14)
The shortest distance between two points may be a zigzag. (Exodus 13:17,18)
When the effect of the gospel is all-important in the church, the force of the
gospel is unstoppable in the world. (Romans 12:1-17)
If you use the law as a ladder to heaven, you will be left standing in hell. (Romans

b. Suggestions for framing a Sermon Thesis Statement (Robinson):





as simply and memorably as possible.

in concrete and familiar words.
so that it focuses on response.
so that your listeners sense you are talking to them about them.

PR2313 Homiletics

W. Shannon Potter

EXERCISE #1: Mapping Out Your Sermon

In completing this worksheet for your sermon, please note the examples on pp. 183
& 184 of Preaching Gods Word: This will give you a snapshot of your sermon at a glance.
Your Biblical Text:
Your Initial Sermon Title:
The Biblical Context (from Biblical Exegesis Worksheet):

Text Thesis Statement (the biblical writers thesis from Biblical Exegesis
Text Outline (the biblical writers outline from Biblical Exegesis Worksheet):

Crossing the bridge (what principle/application am I bringing over to serve as

my sermons focus?):

My Sermons Thesis Statement in a full sentence (the text thesis worded for my
My Sermons Outline (basic points in full sentences supporting your sermons

Note: In narrative or visionary sermons, the outline may proceed scene by scene as
opposed to point by point; in an inductive or pragmatic sermon, the outline may proceed
clue by clue. Let the flow of your Biblical passage and your chosen Sermon shape guide

PR2313 Homiletics

W. Shannon Potter

EXERCISE #2. What Shape/form will you sermon take?

Now that you are clear on your Sermon Thesis, how will you organize your sermon to
get these ideas across to your audience?

1. What work is this sermon going to do? How do you see this sermon engaging and
impacting your audience? In this sermon are you accomplish your sermons purpose
a. Using a deductive approach - making an argument, explaining an idea,
applying a principle, proving a proposition OR
b. Using an inductive approach - solving a mystery, telling a story, painting a
picture, singing a song (see Anderson)?
Why will you choose this approach for your sermon text?

2. Will this sermon take a cognitive (appeal to the mind) or affective (appeal to the
heart) direction?

3. What form will this sermon take (think of Andersons five categories of sermon form
- declarative, pragmatic, narrative, visionary, or integrative)?
Why will you choose this form to accomplish your sermons purpose?

PR2313 Homiletics

W. Shannon Potter

EXERCISE #3: Fleshing out Your Sermon:

Writing an Expanded Sermon Outline:
1. Write in complete sentences to show the development of thought logically and
psychologically. How are you going to keep people on the bus and travelling with
you all the way to the destination?
2. Insert the preaching idea into the outline at the place where you will first state it.
3. Write out the transitions in brief paragraphs between the points.
4. Using brief phrases, list throughout the outline the illustrations and applications you
intend to use.
Based on your Sermon Thesis and the Sermon Points from Exercise #1 above, now
construct a expanded Sermon Outline that will form the framework the will guide your
sermons development as you add additional elements (quotes, illustrations, applications,
media, etc.) in preparation for writing your final Sermon Manuscript.
For this outline, use complete sentences to focus your thinking. Your first attempt at an
expanded outline for your sermon should include these parts (use the attached Romans 8
outline below as a model for a deductive sermon):
Sermon Text:
Sermon Title:
Sermon Thesis:
Sermon Outline:
1. Point One (verse)
Subpoint 1
Subpoint 2
2. Point Two (verse)
Subpoint 1
Subpoint 2
3. Point Three (verse)
Subpoint 1
Subpoint 2
Note: This expository sermon outline included gives you and idea of what an expanded
sermon outline looks like. The thesis and points could use more memorable and vivid
statements. Note the transitional statements that move you from one point to the next. In
different sermon forms, the outline looks a little different, but every sermon has a structure.
What will yours look like?

PR2313 Homiletics

W. Shannon Potter

Expanded Sermon Outline Example: (Based on Romans 8:31-39)

Sermon Thesis: To convince believers that nothing can separate them from
God or lessen their standing as a child of God.
Sermon Outline: (minus illustrations and applications to be added later).
I. Great believers have been convinced that noting can interfere with their
relationship with God (vv.38,39).
A. Great believers have stated categorically that nothing can interfere
with their relationship with God (v. 38 a).
B. Great believers have pointed out that nothing even extremes can
separate them from the live of God (vv. 38b-39).
i. Things done in life cannot separate us.
ii. Circumstances cannot push one to a point of separation.
iii. Individuals cannot separate themselves.
C. Great believers see Gods love in Christ is irrevocable (v. 39b).
(Transition: This idea of no separation may be acceptable to for great believers, but
such believers do not face the struggles that we common, average Christians face,)
II. Most/many Christians struggle with issues that cause them at times to
wonder about their relationship with Christ either separation or standing
despite what the Bible says (vv. 33-37).
A. Christians often struggle with:
i. A lifestyle that seems to contribute to accusations of guilt
that affect their relationship with God (v. 33 a).
ii. The assumption that God will not put up with our continuing
sinning (v34a).
iii. The belief that the circumstances of life demonstrate that
God is displeased with us.
B. Gods word affirms that:
i. No charge against us can stand (v. 33b).
ii. God will not condemn us (v. 34b).
iii. The sufferings of this life are not an indication of Gods
moving away form u s; in fact, we can succeed in the face
of such adversities (vv. 36,37).
(Transition: It is nice to hear that not charge can stand, God will not condemn us,
and that the difficult circumstances are the lot of all believers. However, how do I
know that these statements are really true for me? What proof do I have?)
III. God has demonstrated His love to us to prove that, since he has given
us the most expensive gift He could, He will take care of that which causes
us to fear separation (vv. 31,32).
A. God affirms He is for us (v. 31).
B. Gods proof is that He gave His Son and will in turn do more (v. 32).
i. He volitionally and emotionally gave up His Son for us.
ii. If He will give us His Son, Hell make sure nothing can
separate us.