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Author: Ron Graham

Training to Teach and Preach

Sermon Types and Techniques
—Not just a message, but also a method

The following list classifies sermons according to method. The seven methods given allow you to choose and apply the best method for the message you wish to communicate. By using a variety of methods, you keep your preaching fresh.


A subject is announced, and the lesson adheres strictly to that topic. Known as topical teaching, this is the most common method. Some of the classifications below are specialisations of this method.


A topic is presented in the form of a LIST. For example, the topic of prayer might be treated as the benefits of prayer, or maybe, examples of prayer in the Bible, or possibly, proper attitudes of prayer. Listing is a basic and effective approach to sermon building, and the easiest technique.


A topic is announced in the form of a proposition, and the entire lesson is given to argument for and/or against that proposition.


A verse or short passage is read, and the lesson is drawn from, and constantly refers to, that text. This method is called expository teaching. It’s the most direct method of preaching God’s word, but may also be the most difficult.


A Bible book or block of scripture is taken as the subject matter, and an overview is given, usually from a particular standpoint. For example, the doctrine of obedience in Paul’s letter to the Romans.


A familiar object or process is described, and used as a parable to teach spiritual truths.Our Lord’s lesson about the sower (Luke 8) is a fine example. This is a difficult method to master.


A Bible story or biography is told, and the entire lesson is based on that narrative or character sketch. This is possibly the most neglected method, whilst its resources are very rich.

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