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How Sermons Work

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How do sermons work? How does a preacher get from the basic nuts and bolts of a few Bible verses to the delivery of a full sermon? That’s the question David Murray answers in this instructive and immensely practical book. He demonstrates that behind the 30 to 45 minutes we see and hear on a Sunday morning are many hours of mental, spiritual, and practical labor. Like all pastoral labor, it involves head, heart, and hand.

Murray breaks up the sermon preparation process into a clear and simple step-by-step method, covering topics such as how to choose a text, how to introduce a sermon, how to explain a text, and how to apply it. How Sermons Work will provide an excellent refresher for experienced preachers and a reliable guide for those just starting out. It will also be extremely helpful to Bible class teachers, Bible study leaders, or anyone who has to prepare a Bible message.

Above all, however, it is the author’s desire that this volume will also be read by those who do not preach. He wants to give non-preachers an insider’s look at sermon preparation. By taking readers behind the scenes and asking, “how do they do that?” Murray wants to supply answers that will increase respect for pastors and their preaching.

With the Logos Bible Software edition, you have unprecedented access to resources that offer relatable and insightful material to aid you in your sermon or Bible study preparation. The powerful search tools in your digital library help you locate the specific material relevant to you, whether it is textual or topical. Hours of biblical research can be accomplished with the simple click of a mouse. With lightning-speed searching, instantly-viewable Scripture references, a vast library of resources, and much more, Logos is the perfect software to expand your understanding of the Word.

Resource Experts
  • Analyzes the sermon preparation process
  • Provides a simple and helpful step-by-step guide for preparing a sermon or Bible message
  • Introduction: How Do They Do That?
  • Preparation: Preparing to Preach
  • Selection: Selecting a Text
  • Interrogation: Exegeting the Text
  • Variation: Varying the sermons
  • Introduction: Beginning the Sermon
  • Organization 1: The Principles of Sermon Organization
  • Organization 2: The Practice of Sermon Organization
  • Application 1: The Principles of Application
  • Application 2: The Practice of Application
  • Presentation: Preaching a Sermon

Top Highlights

“Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones said that a preacher must ‘sacrifice a good sermon rather than force a text’.” (Page 36)

“The preacher should, however, keep in view that the overall purpose of the Bible is to make a person wise unto salvation through faith in Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 3:15).” (Page 38)

“Exegesis is the process that is used to explain the meaning and message of a text of Scripture.” (Page 35)

“What are the most important places or personalities?” (Page 49)

“Thomson Chain Reference Bible, or the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge” (Page 52)

The biblical, theological, and pastoral foundation of How Sermons Work is one of the many reasons I heartily commend David Murray’s ministry. David’s fruitful experience as a preacher and his faithful pastor’s heart oozes from every page of this book. It is written with a precision that will immensely benefit both young aspiring pastors as well as the most seasoned preacher. I commend this practical guide to all who seek to evaluate their preaching with an aim to grow more faithful in this divine calling.

—Brian Croft, Senior Pastor, Auburndale Baptist Church

  • Title: How Sermons Work
  • Author: David Murray
  • Publisher: Evangelical Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 160

David Murray (PhD, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) is the senior pastor of First Byron Christian Reformed Church in Byron Center, Michigan. He is also a counselor, a regular speaker at conferences, and the author of Reset and Exploring the Bible. David has taught Old Testament, counseling, and pastoral theology at various seminaries.


7 ratings

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  1. Deliverance By Grace Fellowship
  2. Randy Butler

    Randy Butler


    I picked up the print edition of this a few years ago and was very impressed. Murray manages to pack a lot of solid instruction into this very small volume. He is concise yet manages to hit all the most important things you need to know to pull off a sermon, lecture, or serious bible study. While intended for someone with little or no experience, even those with some experience would enjoy some fresh insights and tips. Highly recommended.
  3. ChappyEight



  4. Andrew Scott

    Andrew Scott


  5. W Russell Lyle III
  6. Rev. Lynwood F. Mundy
  7. John Kuvakas

    John Kuvakas


Save 25% off during the Memorial Day Sale!


Digital list price: $8.99
Regular price: $6.99
Save $1.75 (25%)