Preaching to a Post-Everything World: Crafting Biblical Sermons that Connect with our Culture (Grand Rapids, MI.: Baker, 2008).
Use the Four Stories in Six Steps
^Day/Hour – (explanation: Some might use one day for each step. For these preachers I have broken steps down into days. Others might use each step in one day. For these preachers I have broken the steps down into hours.)
^Monday/Hour One – Step One
Story #1 – Goal = What does this text teach me about God?
Identify the textual manner (word type and mood).
Locate parrot words. Connecting words, and divine comments.
Interrogate the big idea with questions (who, what, when, where, why, how)
Show and tell from the text.
Identify the echoes of redemption (armor, promise, fruit, gift, diaconal, miracle, community, divine silence, himself).
Find the illustrative path (picture, sensory, and creation words).
^Tuesday/Hour Two – Step Two
Story #2 – Goal = What does this text teach me about people?
Identify echoes of creation (worship, relationship, vocation, conscience)
Identify echoes of the fall (fallen, finite, fragile, faltering)
Identify idol noise (superstition, skepticism, suspicion, stardom, stealing, squandering, sophistry).
Expose my moralistic responses to fallen echoes and idol noise.
Locate the vine.
^Wednesday/Hour Three – Step Three
Story #3 – Goal = What does this text teach me about life under the sun?
Discern my expository bans (censoring, muting, equivocating, evicting).
Expose my simplistic response to life under the sun.
Account for the accents of my hearers (memoir, marketplace, lore, land).
Translate cultural connections with biblical redirection (“You have heard it said…, but I say to you…”).
Describe the third way.
Account for the consciences of my hearers (hard-hearted and soft-hearted).
Bring echoes of heaven and hell into these features as appropriate.
^Thursday/Hour Four – Step Four
Story #4 – Goal = What does this text say to me?
Receive instruction (grieving and quenching the Spirit).
Locate the vine.
Give thanks and praise.
^Friday/Hour Five – Step Five
Goal: Place the four stories into a deductive or inductive sermon form
^Saturday/Sunday/Hour Six – Step Six
Goal = Pray the four stories
Pray for illumination = Psalm 119:18, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.”
Pray for a message = Ephesians 6:19, “and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel.”
Pray for an open door = Colossians 4:3-4, “At the same time, pray for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison.”
Pray for effectiveness = 2 Thessalonians 3:1, “Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you,”
Pray for clarity = Colossians 4:4, “that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.”
Pray for boldness = Ephesians 6:20, “for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”
Pray for a deliverance = 2 Thessalonians 3:2, “and that we be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.”
Dr. Eswine has served in pastoral roles for over twenty years. He served as Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Director for Doctor of Ministry for six years at Covenant Theological Seminary. Zack’s most recent book, won Preaching Today’s Book of the Year Award in 2009. It is entitled, Preaching to a Post-Everything World: Crafting Biblical Sermons that Connect with our Culture (Baker, 2008). He has also written, Kindled Fire: How the Methods of C.H. Spurgeon can help your Preaching (Mentor, 2006). His forthcoming books are entitled, Preaching Barefoot: Life and Ministry as a Human Being (Crossway) and Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Handling the Darker Sides of Life and Ministry (Christian Focus).