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Preach the Word


SERMON OUTLINES FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS

"Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction" (2 Tim.4:2)

Introduction
The Christian preacher should be an opportunist. Special occasions and services give special opportunities for ministry. Here are some example skeletal outlines for a number of occasions, together with helpful comments:

The Dedication Sermon needs to be thankful, responsible and opportunist.

Example:
JESUS LOVES CHILDREN (Mt.19:13-15)
Children were brought to Jesus (v.13)
Children were barred from Jesus (v.13)
Children were blessed by Jesus (vv.14,15).

The Wedding Sermon needs to be congratulatory, topical and serious.

Example:
THE LORD'S WEDDING GIFT
The Lord was invited (v.1)
The servants were instructed (v.5)
The guests were blessed (v.10).

The Funeral Sermon needs to be sympathetic, challenging and hopeful.

Example:
THE STORY OF LAZARUS
Jesus could have come when Lazarus called - but he didn't
Jesus could have healed Lazarus - but he didn't
Jesus could have left Lazarus in grave - but he didn't.

The Baptismal Sermon needs to be pastoral, challenging and joyful.

Example:
BELIEVER'S BAPTISM (Acts 2:38)
Act of discipleship: following Christ (Mt.3:16)
Act of devotion: obeying Christ (Mt.28:19)
Act of dying: identifying with Christ (Rom.6:4).

The Men's Sermon needs to be thoughtful, direct and relevant.

Example:
ENDURING HARDNESS (2 Tim.2:3-7)
Be disciplined like a soldier (vv.3,4)
Be dedicated like an athlete (v.5)
Be diligent like a farmer (v.6).

The Women's Sermon needs to be practical, helpful and uplifting.

Example:
A DEVOTED DISCIPLE (Acts 9:36-43; Jam.1:27)
The discipleship of Dorcas (v.36)
The dedication of Dorcas (v.36)
The death of Dorcas (v.39).

The Youth Sermon needs to be lively, contemporary and straight.

Example:
A SUCCESSFUL FAILURE
John Mark the worker (Acts 13:13)
John Mark the deserter (Acts 15:38)
John Mark the supporter and helper (Col.4:10; Phlm.24; 2 Tim.4:11).

The Children's Sermon needs to be simple, illustrated and short.

Example:
IN THE LION'S DEN (Dan.6)
The plan: Daniel was disliked (vv.6-9)
The prayer: Daniel was diligent (v.10)
The protection: Daniel was delivered (v.21).

The Celebration Sermon may be inspirational, practical and devotional.

Example:
LOOK!
Look to the Lamb of God (Jn.1:29)
Look to the Cross (Jn.19:37)
Look into empty tomb (Jn.20:11)
Look to the fields (Jn.4:35).

The New Year Sermon needs to be timely, grateful, challenging.

Example:
PAUL'S PHILOSOPHY (Phil.3:14,15)
Forgetting the past: It is in God's hands
Straining for the future: It is in God's hands
Pressing on in the present: instructed by the past and inspired by the future.

The Anniversary Sermon needs to be grateful, inspiring and directed.

Example:
THE LORD IS OUR HELPER (Heb.13:8)
The Lord has helped in the past (1 Sam.7:12)
The Lord is our present helper (Psa.46:1)
The Lord will help in the future (Ezek.48:35).

The Harvest Sermon needs to be pastoral, grateful and evangelistic.

Example: GOD CARES FOR US
God gives the harvest (Gen.8:22)
God gave his Son (Jn.3:16)
God gives eternal life (Jn.3:36).

The School Sermon needs to be short, to be point, modern.

Example:
LEARNING FROM JESUS (Mt.4:19)
Hear Jesus
Follow Jesus
Copy Jesus.

The Graduation Sermon needs to be congratulatory, inspiring and challenging.

Example:
JOSHUA'S GRADUATION (Josh.1:1-9) J
oshua was exercised (vv.1-2)
Joshua was encouraged (vv.3-5)
Joshua was exhorted (vv.6-9).

The Ordination Sermon needs to minister to the pastor, oversight and church.

Example:
BE A SHEPHERD (1 Pet.5:2)
Heed - the commands of God
Feed - the flock of God
Lead - the people of God.

The Farewell Sermon needs to give appreciation, recognition and exhortation.

Example:
REMEMBER (Heb.13:7,8)
Remember: the Word which has been ministered
Remember: the life which has been lived
Remember: the Christ who has been presented.

The Civil Sermon needs to be well presented, responsible and challenging.

Example:
A MODEL LEADER AND STATESMAN (Dt.34:10-12)
Moses was concerned about his people
Moses was consecrated to his calling
Moses was confident in the Lord.

Two questions

a. How important is it to have a sermon that fits the occasion?

b. Do sermons that deal with issues such as conservation really qualify to be called 'sermons'? Is preaching about environmental issues really 'preaching'? See: H.Montefiore, Preaching for our Planet, London, Mowbray, 1992.



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Copyright 2007 Vernon Ralphs

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