Shaping the Claim helps the preacher discover the core of the message to be preached—the sermonic "claim." In order to be effective, says McMickle, a sermon needs to address the hearers at three distinct levels; the head or the intellect, the heart or passion and conviction, and the hand or an expected and desired response.
In order to discover the biblical "claim" that a sermon should make upon a particular congregation at a particular time, McMickle presents a helpful three-step process:
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Marvin A. McMickle is the pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and professor of homiletics at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio. He is the author of From Pulpit to Politics: Reflections on the Separation of Church and State.