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Traditional Sermon Models

Traditionally, sermons have been categorized according to various forms based upon certain qualities. Delineations of these forms frequently have included the expository sermon as another sermon model. Each of the following forms, however, could and should be subjected to the expositional process.

Topical. The topical sermon is built around some particular subject. The idea for the subject may be taken from the Bible or elsewhere. Usually the preacher gathers what the Bible teaches about one particular topic, organizes those passages into a logical presentation, and then delivers a topical sermon. Doctrinal sermons easily lend themselves to this approach.

Textual. A textual sermon is one based on one or two verses from the Bible. The main theme and the major divisions of the sermon come from the text itself. This sermon seeks to expound what the text itself actually says.

Narrative. Traditionally a narrative sermon has been considered simply as one based upon a narrative text. In recent days, however, some homileticians have defined it by sermonic form instead of literary genre. Thus, contemporary narrative sermons frequently encompass those messages that, from outset to conclusion, bind the entire message to a single plot as theme. Such a sermon may be better described as a story sermon.

Biographical. A biographical sermon presents a study of the life of a particular Bible character. The facts about that particular character form the basis for a message with contemporary application.

Dramatic monologue. A dramatic monologue sermon is a specialized form of a biographical sermon in which the preacher becomes the character he is seeking to present. He acts out the message of the character, often dressing himself in authentic biblical attire.

Theological. The theological sermon may be similar to a topical, doctrinal sermon in that it expounds some basic Christian belief in order to convey understanding and foster belief. The difference, however, is that theological sermons usually rely more on references to general theological concepts in Scripture than on specific texts themselves.

Ethical discourse. The ethical discourse is based upon a specific Bible motif that teaches the believer an ethical lesson. The purpose is to build Bible morality into the members of the congregation.
-Vines, Jerry; Shaddix, James L. Power in the Pulpit: How to Prepare and Deliver Expository Sermons (Kindle Locations 520-543). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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