This structure allows the form and function of the text to influence the form and function of the sermon. For example, a sermon on a proverb might be designed around the function of a proverb. In response to how a proverb functions, the preacher uses a proverbial sermon structure: the hearers consider a variety of situations in which a proverb may or may not apply and through such consideration arrive at a generally applicable truth based upon godly discernment of life experience that can direct future action when considered in the fear of the Lord.
The method does not call for a reduplication of the form and function of the text in the sermon but rather a reflection of it. So when preaching on a parable, the preacher does not need to tell a parable. Instead, the preacher consciously considers how the genre of the text (e.g., parable) might offer direction for the sermon structure (e.g., communication about one topic that leads to a surprising revelation concerning another topic in the lives of the hearers).
Because this method is textually-specific, there are as many structures as there are genres in Scripture. The predominance of story in the readings of Scripture encourages us to focus particularly upon sermons shaped by storied discourse.
Under genre, we may consider:
- Storied Discourse Structures
© 2011 David Schmitt. All rights reserved.