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How To Write An Outline

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					                        III. How to Write an Outline
* An outline is a general sketch of a sermon. Details added to an outline affect the main topic’s
development, as well as the content’s accuracy and richness.

   A. Principles of Outline Writing

       1. Accuracy: Use a theme as the central idea of an outline, do not add irrelevant materials to
       the outline

       2. Unity: relates to a theme, in a clear, hierarchical manner, contains clearly defined
       relationship between main sections and subdivisions

       3. Parallelism: Parallel structures, sentences, format, and symbols

       4. Balance: Balanced sections, appropriate transitional words and phrases

       5. Logic: The main points have to be clear, concise and logical, to help people understand and
       remember the message better.

   B. Types of Outlines

       1. Chronological arrangement: Arrange an outline in the chronology of events and messages

               a. From the beginning to the ending

               b. From the ending to the beginning

               c. From the middle: this method is more suitable for "history" sermons. Begin an
               outline with the climactic moment of an event or a person's life, trace to the beginning,
               and then move to the ending

       E.g. 1 "A Discussion on Personal Faith from the Incidence of Peter Falling Asleep Three
       Times"

               a. The "first time", he falls asleep on a mountain (inexperienced) - Luke 9:32

               b. "The second time", he falls asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane (Not watchful) -
               Mark 14:37

               c. The "third time" he falls asleep in the prison (undoubting faith) - Acts 12:6
E.g. 2 " The Three Periods of Moses' Life"

        a. The first "forty years" as a prince of Egypt (Acts 7:22-23)

        b. The second "forty years" as a shepherd in the land of Madian (Acts 7:29-30)

        c. The third "forty years" as a leader in the wilderness (Acts 7:36)

2. Spatial arrangement: Arrange an outline in the spatial order of events

E.g. "Follow Jesus"

        a. Follow Jesus to the manger - learning humility

        b. Follow Jesus to the wilderness - learning how to prayer

        c. Follow Jesus to the world – learning how to love your neighbor

        d. Follow Jesus to the garden - learning submission

        e. Follow Jesus to Golgotha - learning how to sacrifice

3. Cause-and-effect arrangement: arrange an outline in the order of cause and effect, or reverse
the order and arrange effect before cause

E.g. "Gihazi's Greed for Money" (2 Kings 5:15-27)

        a. Causes of Gehazi's greed for money (15-20)

        b. Motivations behind Gehazi's greed for money (26)

        c. Gehazi's acts of greed for money (21-26)

        d. Consequences of Gehahi's greed for money (26-27)

4. Problem-solution arrangement: Identify a problem then provide a solution step by step

E.g. "Honor Your Parents"

        a. What – Definition (What is piety?)

        b. Why - Why is it necessary (Why should we honor our parents?)
           c. How - How can we put it to practice? (How should we honor our parents?)

   5. Level of complexity: Arrange an outline by level of complexity, from simple to complex,
   from inside to outside, from easy to hard

   E.g. 1 "Power of the Gospel"

           a. The gospel can change a person - gives a new life, a new heart, and a new direction

           b. The gospel can change a family - individuals are basic building blocks of family

           c. The gospel can change a society – families are basic building blocks of society

   E.g. 2 "The Criminal on the Cross" (Luke 23:43)

           a. You will be in Paradise

           b. You will be with me in Paradise

           c. Today you will be with me in Paradise

   6. Categorical arrangements: arrange an outline by categories of peoples, events, and/or things

   E.g. "Three Types of Danger that We Should Avoid" (Jude 11)

           a. The way of Cain

           b. The error of Balaam

           c. The rebellion of Korah

   7. Bible text: arrange an outline in the same order as presented in the text

   E.g. "Who is Jesus?" (Luke 14:6)

           a. Jesus is the Way

           b. Jesus is the Truth

           c. Jesus is the Life

C. Secrets of Writing Outlines
      1. Thesis statement:

              a. Be specific and concise: it is better to use few words and few many adjectives

              b. Parallelism: If possible, major headings should be expressed in parallel form, use
              same basis of division at each rank

              E.g. "You Are the Salt of the World" –

                      Maintain Salt's Characteristics

                      Exemplify Salt's Functions

                      Imitate Salt's Spirit

              c. transitional words and phrases: "First", "next", "furthermore", "besides", "lastly,
              "one additional point", "not only so", "in conclusion"

      2. Craft subdivisions into beautiful sentences.

              a. Check if subdivisions have equal weight

              b. Check if subdivisions are related to the thesis

Conclusion

				
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