In thinking through the sermon introduction it is important to differentiate between the introduction and simple preliminaries.
Preliminaries –general remarks may be made which have no connection with the message.
Introduction-the preacher seeks to bring to the minds of the congregation into such a relationship with his theme that they are willing to lend an ear to his discourse.
Too often we confuse the two, or we build a huge porch or preliminaries without giving proper attention to the introduction itself. Keeping (even if it is only in the mind of the preacher) a clear distinction between the two is important.