One of the most exciting elements of preaching is seeing the result in the life and ministry of your church. Application of the Word is the component of the sermon that helps you take teaching and make it real in the lives of believers. A portion of your sermon preparation should be devoted to asking “what’s next” in the life of an attendee after they hear the message. Where do you begin looking for application?

Consider your church. Always have handy a short listing of your church’s key ministries and events. Sunday School, a food pantry, a school campus ministry, a prayer ministry, Vacation Bible School, a mission trip—any and all of these are application avenues that may apply to your Sunday message. Encourage attendees to plug-in to ministry within your own church as a way to apply a sermon.

Consider local needs. Your city’s economic and social challenges, cultural and ethnic groups within your reach, civic organizations from the Rotary Club to Little League, natural disasters or other tragedies on a family or city scale—all of these are also points of application, depending on the message. Think about ways your church can take the sermon out into their community this week.

Consider new opportunities. Perhaps God is using your teaching to start something new at your church. Is there a ministry that’s missing or an accessible group you’re not serving as a congregation? Your message may be a catalyst for God to develop leaders to form the foundation of a fresh opportunity.

Consider the mission. Perhaps the sermon is best lived-out beyond your borders. Heed the Matthew 28 call to “make disciples of all nations” as you look for application possibilities on local, national and international mission. Consider other organizations you can partner with—from churches to civic group to humanitarian aid groups and para-church organizations—that will help your congregation extend the reach of Christ as they apply His Word.


Author: Eugene Mason, Communications Director for Cross Pointe Church under the leadership of Dr. James Merritt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

22Oct 2017

Recently I led a small group study on other religions. During one week of the study, I gave an overview of Islam, and a friend was kind enough to loan me a copy of the Quran to review and use in our discussion. As she handed me the book, she said, “Be sure not to […]

20Oct 2017

We’re often asked how we name and theme message series with Dr. Merritt. At his church, it’s a team approach. The Pastor details where God is leading him to preach, often with specific passages and key sermon points given to the planning team. Then, it’s our job to wrap the message or series in a […]

18Oct 2017

When I accepted my very first pastorate, at the tender age of twenty-three, it didn’t take me long to understand the two words that are constantly on the mind of any pastor and that is, “Sunday’s coming.”  It didn’t take me long to learn that study (and a lot of it) was going to be […]

16Oct 2017

In modern media-saturated culture, there’s a push from leading churches—especially larger churches—for a constant stream of teaching. Series follow series, with multiple emphases thrown in regarding various ministries for good measure. A few “attractional” sermons that draw a crowd, the in-depth series on a Bible book, the missions emphasis, family emphasis, practical series on finances, […]

14Oct 2017

I’ve pastored my church eighteen years. And I can tell you that even though I pastor in the buckle of the Bible Belt, reaching people today is different than it was eighteen years ago. When I first came to Georgia, you could lead somebody to Christ on Tuesday, they’d walk the aisle on Sunday, you […]

12Oct 2017

I’ve served at several churches over the years which have been through times of transition. Staff, direction or core ministry areas go through major change, and during that time, a significant number of people leave the church. Even in times of stability, the church gains and loses members regularly—prayerfully, gaining more than they lose over […]