Sermon Ideas

How to Make a Sermon Garden

What is a sermon garden.?

Sermons, like plants in a garden, need to be cultivated.  Seeds need to be collected and dried and stored safely, waiting for planting time.  Soil needs to be prepared and fertilized and the seeds need to be planted and germinated.  Good sermons need to be tended to in a similar fashion.  A sermon garden is a place where this can happen.

So, what exactly is a sermon garden.  It is simply a file of ideas and inspirations.  It can be a physical file of clippings and scraps of paper or it can exist on a computer.  It all depends on your personal preference and skills.  As for me I use both the computer and the paper files.

Here is how a sermon garden produces fruit for you. 
When I have an idea or an inspiration I imediately write it down on an index card or a scrap of paper and place it in a file box.  I keep an index file box on my desk just for this purpose.  Sometimes I transfer the idea to an index card, sometimes I just stick it in the box.  When I hear another preacher and something he says sticks in my mind as a good sermon idea, I make a note and put it in the file box.  This becomes my seed bin.  This is where I can go and get the "germ of an idea" for a sermon.

About once a week I look through the box, glancing at the note cards and scraps of paper I have saved.  I never throw any note out.  I look them over and see if God has a use for them that week.  By glancing at them week by week your subconscious mind begins to work on them.  God's Spirit begins to grow these seeds into sermons.  Week by week when you examine your seed bin, you will discover seeds that have begun to germinate.  Notes that strike you as relevent to your congregation or notes that God impresses you that you should develop further.

Take these notes place then in a file folder with 4 sheets of paper.  I usually tear 4 sheet off a yellow legal pad.   Put this folder in a tray on your desk where you can see it every day.  You have planted the seed.  Cultivate your sermon seed every day.  How?  Take the first page and write at the top... PURPOSE.  Here you write the purpose of your sermon.  NOT THE THEME... NOT THE TITLE.. but the purpose.    What you want to happen to your listeners as a result of hearing the sermon.

Then below this begin brainstorming some themes, and points for your sermon.  Write down what ever comes to mind.  You may have dozens or scores of brainstormed points.  Work a little each day, as God inspires, to cultivate your sermon.

When three good points begin to grow, transfer these to your other blank pages.  At the top of the three pages re-write your purpose then write one of the point underneath it.  Then brainstorm the supporting statements for that main point.

The general idea of a sermon garden is to have 5 or 6 sermons in development at all times.  I find that I usually have at least 6-10 sermons growing.  Every day work a little bit in this garden and you will always have fresh sermons to deliver to your people.

This is just a brief discription of a method of continual sermon preparation.  If you are interested in learning a more in depth method of preparing sermons you should consider the Preaching With Power course.  You can read more about it by clicking on this link  SERMON

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