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Extemporaneous Preaching…from Acts to Advent

8 December 2008

Speaking of preaching without notes: I suffered a bit of image a setback yesterday in my effort to do more extemporaneous preaching.  I finished my year-long series on Acts last Sunday and moved into a three week Advent series on the “Fear Nots” of the Christmas narratives.  This week, it was Gabriel’s word to Mary—”Fear not, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” (Luke 1:29).  The switch from Acts to Advent was harder than I anticipated—no matter how I looked this passage, I just couldn’t get into it. I was frantically working on the message up to the last minute.  The message was not solidly in my head, therefore, I relied heavily on notes.  Kind of bummed about the setback, but learned a few lessons, including

  • the importance of preparation with extemporaneous preaching in view all along. 
  • the lesson of advance preparation. 
  • that God can still use my preaching even when I don’t do it with the style I would prefer:  quite a number of people commented on how helpful the sermon was. 

Here is/was my outline:


Luke 1:30-38

Theme: Frightening or difficult times are often the times that God uses to call his people to do great things.


Gabriel stresses three things about Jesus:

  • his position (Son of God, Son of the Most High, ruler),
  • his authority (seated on Israel’s throne forever; ruler of a kingdom that will never end)
  • his divine ties (the Holy Spirit will come … and … overshadow you). In short, Jesus is the promised king of the Davidic line.


  • … are almost always an interruption in life.
  • … come in the difficult times in life
  • … are not usually given to the most humanly qualified
  • …ALWAYS demand faith

Christmas, Extemp Preaching

2 Comments to “Extemporaneous Preaching…from Acts to Advent”

  1. I am a 31 year old preacher in Arlington, TX. I am starting a very similar series this coming Sunday.

    I would love to see your other basic outlines for this series.

    You can email me at ryaninlow @ pleasantridgechurch .org

    Thanks in advance,
    Ryan Inlow

  2. Fear Not

    Luke 1:13 – Do not be afraid when you have doubts (Zechariah)

    13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.

    Luke 1:30- Do not be afraid when God asks you to do a big thing (Mary)

    30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.

    Matt 1:20 –Do not be afraid of what others will think(Joseph)

    20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

    Luke 2:10 –Do not be afraid to share the good news (Shepherds)

    10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

    I would love to hear how you develop these. Are your sermons available online?

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