Simple Sermon Outlines: Developing One Idea Example Sermon


The Simple Sermon Outline series is dedicated to quickly describing one structure you might use to preach a sermon.

Previously, we explored a sermon outline aimed at a structure meant to help you develop one idea. Now, we are going to apply that structure and demonstrate how you might structure a sermon around this sermon outline.

To this end, we are going to develop a sermon using Ephesians 6:10-20.

A quick word about studying scripture: you should devote time to your passage and doing some, if not a complete, study of your passage. In this context, we are not going to spend a considerable amount of time walking through the text because our goal is to develop a sermon outline using the structure laid out in my previous post. For the purposes of our discussion today we will assume that the passage has been well studied.

With that in mind, we are going to work on this sermon with the Summary Phrase: On the journey of faith you must be prepared, so put on your armor.

Sermon Outline

First Stop: I was scared of the dark when I was a child.
Second Stop (Common Starting Point): Life is scary, complicated, and full of experiences we are not always ready for.
Third Stop: What does the Bible tell us about being prepared?
Summary Phrase: On the journey of faith you must be prepared, so put on your armor.
Fourth Stop: Ephesians 6:10-12: the call to be prepared
Fifth Stop: vs 13-20: a guide to preparedness
Summary Phrase: On the journey of faith you must be prepared, so put on your armor.
Conclusion: So what?
                Practical Implications: you can be ready by living in the fullness of God’s glory today.
                For the Individual: Take up your sword before the battle begins by being in the text, building a life on truth and righteousness
                For the Community of Faith: Are we spurring each other on to be prepared?
Conclusion (summary phrase): On the journey of faith you must be prepared so, put on your armor.


First and Second Stops:

We begin with a story about being scared of the dark to begin the work of developing a common starting point. By beginning with my own experience in the first step, I can move toward a common experience, of fear and challenges, which we all understand in the second step.

Third Stop:

We move to a critical question about faith. In this case, the larger question is about what God says about the issue. Take time to both explore the question and to ask similar questions as you see fit in the context.

Fourth and Fifth Stop:

In turning to scripture, I develop two themes and as a result, spend time on each. Walking through what the passage says and how it applies to the larger discussion of fears, anxieties, and preparedness.


You’ll notice that this section is divided into three major groups: practical implications of the summary phrase, words for the individual, and words for the community. These have been chosen because of the topic at hand. In other contexts, you may want to consider different groups to speak to such as words for the unbeliever, or words for the long faithful. However, you break down your conclusion, it is helpful to explore each section and to give each group time.

Summary Phrase:

Throughout there is a consistent return to the larger goal of this sermon. You recall our goal is to develop a single idea so we must return to it as often as possible for both clarity and context. Every stop either leads toward, adds to, or develops from the idea we are developing and so returning to the idea on a regular basis means that we remain focused in our efforts.


There you have it: a simple sermon outline developed following the structure developed in my post on writing a sermon focused on one idea. Though this hasn’t been an exhaustive look at this method hopefully, it demonstrates how this structure can be applied to a sermon. If you have any questions feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Check out the rest of the Simple Sermon Outline Series.