How To Give A Sermonette                                Study No. 228


Purpose of Sermonette


A.  To serve as an introduction to services.

B.     To settle the congregation and get minds off the physical and onto the spiritual.

C.  To prepare congregation for the sermon.

D.  To edify congregation on a limited subject.

E.   To provide leadership training for local men while serving the congregation.


Length of Sermonettes


A.  10-12 minutes is a good length for a sermonette, and 15 minutes should be the maximum.




A.  Stay close to God.

      1.   Set schedule to pray three times a day.

      2.   Be studying Bible every day

      3.   Meditate on what you study.

      4.   Fast regularly.

B.   Remember that you are using important time of many people; do not waste that time by doing a poor job.

C.  Remember that the truth of God is a precious commodity and must not be used haphazardly or without proper thought or skill (II Timothy 2:15; II Peter 3:16).

D.  Reminder: The job a speaker does — good or bad — reflects upon him and will enhance or deter from his effectiveness with the congregation in other areas as well.

E.   Be filled with your subject.

F.   Be sermonette conscious — always looking for good ideas.

G.  Keep a file for examples and ideas.

H.  Read good books/articles regularly.

I.    Keep up on world news.

J.    Always keep in mind that a sermonette is not just between you and the con­gregation — God is present!


Selecting a Topic


A.    Giving a good sermonette takes a lot of humility.  It is NOT your purpose to “save” the congregation in 12 minutes.

B.     Major problem with sermonettes — too broad. Choose a topic that can be covered in 10-12 minutes.

C.    The best sermonettes are built from the Scriptures out, not from the ideas and opinions of our own heads!

D.  Narrow down, narrow down! Don’t try to squeeze a sermon into a sermonette!  A sermonette is not a little sermon; it is unique.

E.     A good rule of thumb is to use three Scriptures. Using more is an indication that the topic is too broad. Use Scriptures that best relate to your topic and tie them in.  Expound and show why they are relevant.

F.   Don’t pick a corrective subject.  It is simply not your job to correct the congregation, regardless of how strong­ly you might feel about some­thing.

G.    Don’t come up with a new topic that you have not heard expounded before or one that is speculative (it may be heresy!).

H.  Don’t pick a sensitive or controversial subject or one that might offend people.  To do so is, again, a sign of a lack of humility!

H.  Try to choose a sermonette topic from one of the following categories.

      1.   Difficult scripture explanation.  Here are some examples:

            a.   I Timothy 4:4 — Does this justify eating unclean meats?

            b.   Luke 17:21 — Does this show the KOG to be something merely “in the hearts of men?”

            c.   Acts 10:12-13 — Does this allow the eating of unclean animals?

            d.   Proverbs 26:4, 5 — Do these verses contradict each other?

      2.   Instructive.

            a.   How to use Festival Tithe.

            b.   How to take good notes in services.

            c.   How to listen effectively.

      3.   Expound a parable or proverb.

      4.   Exhortative — give encourage­ment to apply some principle, or to correct a minor problem.  Be careful here — you don’t have much time, so it’s easier to offend people in a short message.

            a.   Be on time to services.

            b.   Teach your children to re­joice on God’s Sabbath.

            c.   Get your prayer and study in at the Feast.

      5.   Give a variety of types of sermon­ettes. Don’t get into a rut.


Organization of a Sermonette


A.  SPS — After deciding on a topic, write out the Specific Purpose Statement, which states the one point that you want to get across to your audience.  This should be the first step in developing your subject.

B.   It’s important to organize your sermon­ette something close to what is sug­gested below — where you actually write down on paper the SPS — Introduction — Body (in three points, with supporting Scriptures) — Conclusion, developed in the order described below.

C.  Introduction

      1.   Make sure it relates to your main point in such a way that it logically leads to the SPS.

      2.   It should grab the audience’s attention and make them want to listen.

      3.   Some types of effective intro­ductions are:

            a.   Use a short anecdote or cite a recent happening or news event.

            b.   Give some startling facts or figures.

            c.   Ask a moving question or questions.

            d.   Present a challenge.

D. Body

      1.   In a sermonette, the body should consist of only a few (1-3) points or thoughts that are part of the main point.

      2.   All points or thoughts should be organized in a logical manner (such as chronologically, historically or geogra­phically) and be of the same type and of the same general weight or importance.

      3.   Remember that the basis of your message should be the Bible, and not outside material such as poetry, psy­chology, philosophy, “success” litera­ture or, especially, your own pet ideas. Of course, some outside research material or supporting quotes can be proper in balance.

E.   Conclusion

      1.   Summarize by giving the SPS in different words or by phrasing it differently.

      2.   Make an appeal for action on the exhortation or instructions you have given.

      3.   Plan your last sentence. Memorize it if necessary.


Delivery of the Sermonette or Sermon


A.  Be warm and friendly.

B.   Show zeal and interest by being lively and enthusiastic.

C.  Use intensity to drive home a point, but don’t overdo it or be artificial.

D.  Strive to be natural and sincere, not affected.

E.   Don’t try to impress others with your speaking ability.  Don’t try to sound “preachy,” be conversational.

F.   Look to God for His inspiration.

G.  Always remember the purpose of the sermonette. You can’t “save” the congregation in 10-12 minutes.




A.  Remember that speaking to God’s people during Sabbath services is a wonderful opportunity and a great responsibility that must be taken seriously. Of ourselves, we are not equipped nor qualified to teach God’s people. But He is. And if we humble ourselves and draw close to Him, and cry out for more of His Spirit, His mind, His thoughts, and His views, He will give us what we need to effectively serve and teach His people.

B.   With proper preparation and delivery, a sermonette or sermon in the hands of a skillful person, led by God’s Spirit and armed with His perfect truth, can indeed be like “apples of gold in pictures of silver,” Proverbs 25:11.


— by Glen Gilchrist, Area Pastor, Living Church of God     Ω



Additional Information


Our article, “How to Prepare, Conduct, and Participate in, Group Bible Studies,” #138, provides additional helps for teaching God’s Word.  You may view it on the Internet at, or write us for a free copy.