by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: I Timothy 4:6-16


I.         It is hard to come up with ideas to write about constantly. We speak of “writer’s block.”

            A.        A preacher typically gives about 100 lessons per year plus teaches classes.

            B.        But finding and selecting topics can be hard, even if all you need is an idea for next month’s short talk

II.        Sermons must be rooted in God’s teachings

            A.        II Timothy 4:2 - Preach the word

            B.        I Peter 4:11 - Speak as the oracles of God

III.       What to speak about?

            A.        Basic themes

                        1.         Jude 3 - Jude wrote about our common salvation

                        2.         I Corinthians 15:3-4 - The death, burial, and resurrection

                        3.         Hebrews 6:1-2- The elementary teachings

                        4.         These can’t be all that is taught, but they need to be reviewed at times

            B.        Pressing issues

                        1.         Jude 3-4 - Necessary to write that you contend for the faith because false teachers had crept in

                        2.         I Corinthians 1:11 - Paul wrote about issues the Corinthians were facing that he heard about

                        3.         Even if an issue hasn’t hit a congregation yet, it needs to be prepared

            C.        Questions

                        1.         I Corinthians 7:1 - Paul addressed questions sent to him

                        2.         If one person has a question, others are likely to be asking similar ones

            D.        Observing what others are doing

                        1.         Acts 17:16 - Paul saw that Athens was filled with idols. It provoked him to speak, which led to a discussion with the philosophers of Athens

                        2.         Thus, talking about what denominations are doing

            E.        Current events

                        1.         People wanted to talk with Jesus about recent news and he used it as an opportunity to talk about repentance - Luke 13:1-5

                        2.         Often there are lessons that can be drawn from news stories

            F.        What we have learned from others

                        1.         II Timothy 2:2 - Pass your knowledge on

                        2.         Read what other people have written or listen to lessons from other preachers. It should spark ideas that you might use.

            G.        What you’ve taught before

                        1.         II Peter 1:12-13 - People need reminding

                        2.         II Peter 1:15 - So they can call to mind what was taught

                        3.         I Timothy 4:6 - Reminding is a part of being a good minister

                        4.         But be careful not to obsess on one topic

IV.      We’ll never reach a point when no more teaching needs to be done

            A.        Preaching is a continual need - II Timothy 4:2

Based on article by Andy Sochor

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