How To Preach Without Notes

How To Preach Without Notes

Charles W Koller argues for expositional preaching without notes and he also defines its distinctive principles.

In How To Preach Without Notes, Charles W Koller states the importance of expositional preaching. An expository sermon involves exposition, application and persuasion.

As Koller writes: “An exposition becomes a sermon, and the teacher becomes a preacher, at the point where application is made to the hearer, looking toward some form of response, in terms of belief or commitment” (Koller 21).

The expositional sermon derives its main points or the leading sub points under each main point from the particular passage of Scripture.

The expositional sermon makes use of a thesis or proposition or central idea, in which the sermon has it unity and around which it is organized.

The expositional sermon required an introduction and conclusion.

It is important to realize that expository preaching is only one of several types of preaching which have been mightily used and mightily blessed by God.

In How To Preach Without Notes, Charles W Koller argues for expository preaching because he believes that expository preaching feeds the people of God. Koller states that by acquainting the hearers with biblical truth, the preacher is building up spiritual resources far beyond the imnmediate objectives of the sermon (Koller 29).

Koller suggests that expository preaching makes use of more Scriptural material than is generally true of textual or topical preaching. Koller states the benefit of expository preaching is that only when the believer has been thoroughtly indoctrinated in the Holy Scriptures is he adequately fortified in the hour of temptation and able to say, like Jesus in the wilderness, ‘It is written’ (Koller 29).

Charles W Koller champions expository preaching; nevertheless, he states that preaching without notes is largely a matter of structure. The sermon outline that is well-prepared and well-presented is the first long step to freedom in the pulpit (Koller 41).

A structure sermon outline is not only advantageous for the preaching, giving him a sense of timing, progress and proposition but it is also advantageous to the hearers as well (Koller 42).

How To Preach Without Notes by Charles W Koller asserts that freedom in the pulpit requires a well-structured sermon outline. The outline must have a main preaching point – central theme, big idea, a thesis or an expressed topic.

The central theme will have sub-points and incidental points which expand and explain the big idea.

Charles W Koller suggests that the ‘key word’ is an important part of the structure of the sermon outline. Koller strongly asserts that if there is structural unity in a sermon, there is a key word, not necessarily expressed or even recognized, that characterizes each of the main points and hold the outline structure together (Koller 52).

Koller states that the value of a clear cut central theme and a key word that exactly fits each of the main divisions can scarcely be overstated. The key word opens a corridor down the length of the sermon outline structure, with direct access from the front entrance to every room, instead of leaving the preacher and the audience wandering uncertainly from room to room (Koller 52-53).

The key word should be a plural noun and specific. The word ‘things’ is too general. You may want to talk about five ‘things’ relating to a dynamic faith. It would be better to say that you want to talk about five benefits of a dynamic faith. The word ‘benefits’ is specific, whereas, ‘things’ are too general.

Koller noted that this simple device has been an eye opener and a turning point in the homiletical experience of many young ministers and older ministers as well (Koller 55).

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