How Will This Sermon Progress?
Dr. H.B. Charles says, “Every sermon should have a destination. It also needs a clear path to get there. A sermon outline charts the path for the sermon to reach its intended destination. Good sermons have effective outlines.”
At this point, you want to bring shape to your observations and thoughts in such a way that it will be simple and clear for your listeners. This should not be an exegetical outline. Help your listener to follow the flow of the text and to mark the progression of your sermon. Your outline should take your listeners by the hand and guide them through the passage.
It is essential that the structure of your sermon reflects the structure of the text. If your outline and thesis are not grounded in the passage, you risk preaching your outline, not the actual text. This is not a step to be rushed through.
You also need to think through some of the simple movements of your message. You need a beginning. How will you guide listeners into the text you are about to preach? This is called your introduction. You need a middle. This is the sermon body. How will you pull your listeners along through the different points? This involves your outline and transitions. And you need an end. All sermons end. Good sermons have conclusions. An intentional, well-planned, climactic crescendo.
How will you press this sermon—as one has said—“into the pores” of your congregation?