Summary: Learn to to preach an exciting African-American style one-point sermon
Learn how to preach a one point sermon.
The African-American church has had a unique and interesting development in the history of American Christianity. A unique style of one-point sermon developed which can have great impact in any culture. The jewel sermon is one single idea with many facets. Unlike a normal multi-point sermon, each of the facets of the jewel sermon keeps returning to the one subject.
We are going to discuss how to prepare a jewel sermon.
A jewel sermon repeats the theme over and over for each facet of discussion as a form of emphasis. It can be abused. Lenin, Goebbels, Stalin and Hitler are reputed to have followed the philosophy that if you repeat a lie loud enough and often enough it becomes the truth. This is another logical fallacy, the argument from repetition (ad nauseam), the deceitfulness that prolonged repetition somehow proves a point. We don't need that kind of dishonesty in the pulpit. But this technique can also be used for good, for emphasis of a point. It is used several times in the scriptures.
Examples in the Bible
1. The Love Chapter (1 Corinthians 13)
Notice how the love chapter keeps repeating the subject. The Corinthians had been engaged in something that is familiar to us today, the belief that having a spiritual gift makes you spiritually superior. Paul corrects this misconception, by pointing out the most important thing of all, love. He says, love is patient, love is kind... all in all, Paul describes about 15 facets to this jewel we call love. This builds to a crescendo, helping the topic make a greater impression.
2. Psalm 136
For those who don't like some of the repetitive Christian music these days, we look at heaven where the angels repeat "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty...", or we could take a look at the Hallelujah Chorus, or we could go back even further in time to Psalm 136, a song of thanksgiving. The line "his mercy endures forever" is repeated 26 times. Granted, some modern choruses do repeat a rather meaningless or trite line ad nauseam.
3. The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:2-12)
Jesus probably shocked everyone by not making the first list of his public teaching the Ten Commandments or some other part of law, but rather a list of attitudes which produce abundant happiness. Each of these attributes is introduces as a facet of a jewel called "blessed" or "supremely happy."
Notice that such repetition is not repeated in every Psalm or every chapter in the Bible. So, it is important to realize that using this technique ought to be a special treat, not overdone week in and week out. Perhaps that could apply to repetitive music as well.
1. Choose Carefully
Choose a theme that with repetition does not become hypnotic, deceptive or vain repetition. Choose a topic that is already proven and widely accepted as true and your repetition will only be encouragement to actually go out and do the right thing. An example might be encouragement to do good works, stay sexually pure, or pray daily. These are things that everyone already knows are right.