5 Reminders When Preaching A Topical Sermon

Here are 5 points to keep in mind regarding topical sermons on Mother’s Day. These points also apply to other topics as well.


1. Keep it simple

When you are preaching through a book of the Bible, you are obviously limited to the text selected for that week. But when you preach a topical sermon, you have whatever the Bible says on that topic at your disposal—and having such a wealth of material doesn’t always work in your favor. If you try to say everything you find on the theme, you run the risk saying very little about anything in particular. So figure out what you want to say and keep it simple. Simple doesn’t mean simplistic; it means focused.


2. Aim for coherence

In addition to selecting from the wealth of biblical data you find from your study, you also need to arrange the information in a coherent manner that is accessible to the congregation.


3. Make sure it corresponds to reality

For example, preaching on Mother’s Day allows you to say and celebrate lots of wonderful things about moms and motherhood. Many experience real joy on this day. However, others experience lots of pain or disappointment because of loneliness, miscarriages, someone’s death, divorce, etc. Please keep this wide spectrum in mind as you preach. Laugh with the joyful and weep with and comfort those who are mourning.


4. Go for the heart

Navigate between the two extremes of either (1) giving a lecture or (2) aiming for a sentimental moment. You can do this by using great illustrations that capture your points well or by getting a bit personal about the joys or sadness of this day for you.


5. Preach

Your roll is not to serve as a host for a special moment or to be an armchair critic of where our culture has goofed on motherhood or viewing women. You are a preacher of Good News. Proclaim the person and work of Jesus and his gospel. The grace upon grace from Jesus (John 1:16) is the most relevant thing for you to communicate.


Suggested Readings

Bryan Chapell, Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon

Bryan Chapell, The Hardest Sermon You’ll Ever Have To Preach: Help from Trusted Preachers for Tragic Times

Graeme Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture: The Application of Biblical Theology to Expository Preaching