Crash Course in Homiletics

open bible

I learned about Homiletics during my time in seminary, and even took a few classes that taught the basic principles, but it was only recently that I have decided to start doing homiletics on each passage that I am reading/studying for the week.

I am doing this in part to help me to focus on having a more in-depth understanding of what the passage teaches and how it applies to my life today.

So, if you have never done Homiletics before but would like to give it a try, here are some basic things that you can do.

1.  Content– break down a passage (I would recommend starting with no more than a few chapters to work with at once- a very large passage can be overwhelming at first) into 10-20 items- which will probably require you to combine verses.

  • Ask yourself- what are these verses about?  Look for repeated words or phrases.
  • Make sure to read the whole passage several times to get a sense of the overarching subject matter as well.

2.  Divisions– Now, take the content that you have and break it down again into 2-4 divisions.  Include the verses that separate each one and write a complete sentence that summarizes each division.  Try to make each sentence start with the same words to make it easier to remember.

3.  Subject Sentence– Now, combine the several sentences from your divisions into one sentence that is grammatically correct and no more than 10 words.  Ask yourself again, what is this passage about?  Make sure to consider what makes this passage unique from other passages in the Bible- so that you have a way of identifying it from other passages that might touch on similar subjects.

4. AIM– what is the main lesson or basic principle that you want the audience to learn after hearing you speak about the lesson? It is helpful if it begins with the words “To cause the audience to…”

5. Specific Application Questions– for each division, come up with a question that helps you apply the passage to daily life, interactions with coworkers and your boss, family, or neighborhood situations.  Questions should require more than a yes or no response.

If you have any questions, please let me know.  I would be glad to clarify anything and give examples if that would help.