sermon prepEvery time I preach, there are over 10 different steps that I take to get my sermon to the final outline. I’ve share with you previously about my first step, but here is another vital move I make in sermon preparation.

After I’ve done most of my word studies, translation comparisons and exegesis work, I start a document that I call my “Study Notes.” These become my personalized commentary for the passage that I am going to be preaching. These notes are NOT:

    • A well rounded article or manuscript
    • The final thing I take to the pulpit
    • The refined document where my preaching points can be found
    • The place were I work out my illustrations

All of those things come later in what I refer to as my “Sermon Outline” – that then is the document that I actually take to the pulpit. My Sermon Notes however, are a working document that I will put everything into prior to working on my Sermon Outline. This become the buffet from where I pick and choose what I will actually take to the pulpit. I will even put the content of this document on my Evernote so that I can review all this on the fly – and add to it, if needed.

There are a few things I include at the beginning of this document that I do refer back to often throughout my sermon prep:

      1. What is the title and working subtitle?
      2. What is the Summary of this passage (in one sentence)?
      3. Where else is this story found in the Bible (if applicable)?
      4. What is the Exegetical, Theological and Applicational Idea of this passage?
      5. An outline of the passage
      6. A proposed outline for my preaching of the passage (this almost always changes, but I like to at least sketch out the outline up front if I can and refine it from there)

Luke 10 Sermon Study Notes
By Having this document in the works or finished early on in my sermon prep schedule and I am able to (1) give my staff what they need for the bulletin, sermon-based small group curriculum, etc. and (2) I then can start pulling out what I want to focus on for my sermon outline. 

Here is a sample of the first page of one of my most recent “Sermon Notes”:

You can download my sermon note for Study Notes for Luke 10.25-37 and if you’d like to take the format of my notes, go for it! Here is my Study Notes Template.



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