Three-point sermons: proper or improper?

When preachers deliver a sermon and boil it down to three points, I sometimes question where they get the three-points from.  Sometimes, they draw them from a single passage of Scripture; and sometimes they get them from separate but related pieces of Scriptures.  If we try to squeeze three points from a passage it can probably be done but the question is: Is it proper to do so?  Can every sermon be boiled down to three points?  I’m not convinced it should be done or can be done.  Sometimes, a passage of Scripture only has one main point and no sub-points or no sub-points at all. But when preachers preach a three-point sermon, I think it might be for either our own benefit.  It also does make it easier to walk away from the pew remembering three simple points of a message.  Maybe listeners do prefer three-points in a sermon.

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Author: Kevin S.

A follower of Jesus, a husband and a father. Hobbies include biking, keeping fish if they don't die on me, blogging when I can, theologizing and ministry, and pondering about world affairs.

3 thoughts on “Three-point sermons: proper or improper?”

  1. Three is always good! 1. As you say, we can remember, and are used / have been trained to remember, three points. 2. Tell them what you’re going to do, what you’re doing and what you’ve done. 3. Start at the beginning, go through the middle and finish at the end. Three is good! The rule of three for me and thee!

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  2. Interesting Questions. I have no real answer as I never went to seminary. [assuming they teach 3 points in there]
    When I listen to a sermon, my main thoughts are-is the teaching really related to the context of the scripture quoted, am I really learning anything NEW so I can grow, how does it apply to my life today so I can take it with me and apply it all week.
    If I leave thinking I heard it all before, then I am not growing and may not come back cuz I am bored. If I think that I don’t get what that has to do with the scripture, I have not learned anything.If I cannot actually apply it in my everyday life all week, then they are just nice words filling the air but of no use.
    I am not trying to be tough or rude, just stating how I evaluate a sermon. One piece of enlightening information can make all the difference in my Christian growth and how much the sermon sticks with me.

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  3. Three points for any sermon or presentation can be a good rule of thumb. I’ve heard sermons with only one main point and they seem memorable too. Like you, I love it when it can be applicable to my daily life. No application at the end doesn’t work well either. Then it’s just all theory (like my wife says).

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