As an INTJ, I am always thinking. One of the things that I have thought about is how I want to prepare a sermon. I have turned the answer to the “How I want to prepare for a sermon?” question in theory and model form.
As a Christian INTJ, I live a more contemplative form of Christianity where I maintain myself open to God’s interruptions. It’s easier for us that way. Because of this, I am always on the lookout for opportunities to put into sermon form whatever I learn from those interruptions. So the pre-first phase to prepare a sermon is getting the main idea.
Once the topic is in place, I am left with the task of preparing the sermon itself. I do the body of a sermon in an outline form. When I write the outline, I only put the minimum necessary to help me recall what I want to say about the topic. It is my preferred style because I can focus inwardly to get the rest of the rest of the content instead of having to get that from a paper.
Because the way I activate my intuitive processes is by asking myself questions and them waiting on my brain to subconsciously get the answer, I tend to structure my sermons in a question and answer form. I usually tend to follow the “The newspaper model”: “What? Who? How? When? Where? And why?” I call it the newspaper model because it’s what I was taught about how journalists wrote the beginning of newspapers articles.
Once I have the sermon prepared, assuming that I have already been assigned a date to preach, I make time to practice the sermon. When I practice, I try to keep in mind several things:
- I want the sermon to last between 30-45 minutes long, which is 3-4 pages of outline in Courier New 14 font. This is because I need to make my sermons fit into Thursday time slots for preaching. I also always practice with a chronometer.
- Reading of the Bible and the introduction shouldn’t last more than 5 minutes. My mentality is that I want to have as much time as I can to dedicate to the topic at hand. The way that I do this is making sure that I have my introduction is written in the outline as I would say it. I know from experimentation that if left to my own devices I would extend the introduction more than it should be.
- If I do it for the home crowd of my church, which is what I plan for, I try to make it so that the flow of the sermon goes from the base of what is known to whatever new idea I want to present, as if I am constructing an image in people’s minds.
- I also want people to walk away from the sermon with an idea of how to apply it in their daily life.
When I practice my sermon, I use 4 things:
- My phone’s chronometer. This way I know exactly how long my sermon will be.
- The final version of the outline on my tablet to get familiar with what I need to say with each bullet point.
- A surface to function as the podium.
- The Bible. I practice everything, including reading the Bible and praying for the moment.
What I look to determine during the practice is:
- What will I say?
- How will I say it?
- How will I move physically to enhance the sermon/calm my nerves?
- How long will I talk about each topic?
- How can I give this to make it relateable and applicable in their lives?
To be able to prepare good sermons, you have to be confident in who you are, what you stand for, and what you have to offer to your audience. You also have to allow that to be seen in a way that hasn’t really been seen before. I as an INTJ have to prepare myself for that, because I have many walls up at all times.