David Murray

Professor, Pastor, Author

What does an evangelistic sermon look like?

 

As regular readers will know, I’ve got a bit of a thing about evangelistic preaching, especially its relative rarity in the USA – at least compared to Scotland.

In that first post, I defined evangelistic preaching: “It expounds God’s Word (it is expository) with the primary aim of the salvation of lost souls (rather than primarily the instruction of God’s people). Obviously there’s a difference in content when a sermon is aimed at the unsaved more than the Christian. But there’s also a difference in the tone, in the pathos. An evangelistic sermon has a more urgent, pleading, persuading, and personal feel to it.

As many have asked me for an example, here’s a (far from perfect) attempt I made on Sunday evening. My fuller notes are here, my one-page summary notes are here, and the audio and video arehere. Because I don’t use my notes in preaching, there are usually some differences between what I prepared and what I end up saying. Some of that is intentional, and some of it is plain forgetfulness!

My text was  the second part of John 10v10: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” My points were:

  1. Jesus gives abundant spiritual life
  2. Jesus gives abundant intellectual life
  3. Jesus gives abundant emotional life
  4. Jesus gives abundant social life
  5. Jesus gives abundant physical life
  6. Jesus gives abundant eternal life

One caveat, the church has the unusual tradition of stopping the sermon about two thirds of the way through to sing a Psalter, after which the pastor preaches his last point. I’m told that you eventually get used to it.

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About David Murray

David Murray is Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He blogs at HeadHeartHand . and you can follow him on Twitter @DavidPMurray .

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