Summary: Learn to preach a logical sequence of connected points, a German-style chain, pyramid or ladder
This lesson is designed to teach a logical sequence of connected points.
Central Europeans are often very detailed-minded and diligent. A style of rhetoric that is popular among Germans is connecting ideas together in a chain. This is similar to building ideas on top of each other like a ladder or a pyramid.
This chapter introduces techniques on how to build an argument from connected ideas. It introduces the chain, ladder and pyramid sermons, all of which are similar and it gives a sample.
A ladder, a pyramid and a chain sermon are all similar. However, there are slight differences as follows:
1. A Ladder of Targeted Ideas
Many ideas lead upward toward a goal, such as the process of salvation, the development of a doctrine, steps preparing for baptism, etc. The points of the sermon are like stepping stones or the rungs of a ladder. For example, a theological study of the process of salvation could involve the following points, not necessarily in exact time sequence in every case, but definitely leading upwards in the same direction: calling, election, regeneration, conversion, unity with Christ, justification, adoption, sanctification, perseverance, glorification.
2. A Chain of Linked Ideas
Many ideas are linked together, such as points on how to develop a strong marriage, steps to spiritual maturity, building faith, the history of ancient Israel, etc. For example, the process of spiritual maturity may develop over time but includes some linked events, such as:
First link ? find a source of right Christianity (orthodoxy): Orthodoxy refers to the conventional standards of Christianity. It does not only mean right teaching, but also right practice. We will not find true Christianity in some wacky fad or money-grabbing cult that masquerades as Christian.
Second link ? become a disciple of orthodox teaching: This takes a lifetime. Spiritual maturity begins when we are fed healthy Christian teaching. Find a teacher who really knows his Bible, who has been taught at a well-recognized and well-qualified church institution how to rightly divide the word of truth.
Third link ? reject or unlearn bad ideas (heterodoxy): This takes a lifetime. Spiritually mature Christians who have long studied right Christianity and long practiced right Christian living can spot heresy and deception much easier than new converts. This is why new converts need to be taught by spiritually mature, orthodox Christians, not the latest dubious Christian fad.
Fourth link ? orthodox practice (orthopraxy): Spiritual maturity can only follow after being taught right doctrine and then putting it into practice. It will involve such things as fundamentals as loving God and neighbor, forgiveness and doing good works.
3. A Pyramid of Supporting Ideas
Similarly, many ideas are dependent upon the establishment of previous ideas which form a base for each other. These may be foundational ideas which must be established first before others can be built upon upon them. It could include sermon outlines such as building faith, building a reputation, building a fabulous marriage, etc.
Peter describes several things as building one upon the other in 2 Peter 1:5-6.
Title: "God's Invitation to You"
Learn how to respond to God's calling.
What is God doing with you and your life right now? Does it seem like he is opening up doors of opportunity and inviting you to go through those doors? He may be calling you to a particular ministry of service to others.
We will first of all look at what ministry is and that all God's people are ministers. Then we will examine the sequence of events described in Revelation 17:14, that we are called, chosen and faithful.
What is Ministry?
The word ministry simply means service, and the word minister simply means servant. When some churches speak about their minister, I often wonder if that person is the only one in the church serving. In some cases it may be that the pastor or priest is the only one visiting the sick, or those in prison, or taking time for the widows and shut-ins, but it ought not to be that way. According to Matthew 25, it is the responsibility of every Christian to minister to the needy. The call to ministry follows a logical sequence as follows:
1. An Invitation from God
A call to a vocation is an invitation. Our most important and primary invitation is to be the saints of God (Romans 1:6-7; 1 Corinthians 1:2). A calling from God to minister is not just something that pastors and missionaries receive. God invites us all Christians to minister all the time. He provides special doors for an incredible variety of ministry opportunities. Your job or career is an opportunity to minister. Your talents and special abilities are an opportunity to serve others. Your family life, social life, sports club, school, university, church and community all provide a myriad of opportunities for ministry. Some people are proud of the fact that they have never set foot in a pub or saloon. Others do so regularly and see it as an opportunity for ministry. It all depends on your abilities and the freedom you allow yourself in Christ.