3) Suggested materials for the introduction
a) The weighty reasons for taking up the subject or text
b) The setting of the text
c) A judicious review of the previous substance of a series of sermons
d) A judicious use of an arresting rhetorical device
4) Concluding exhortations concerning the construction of the introduction
a) Do not skimp on the mental labors demanded for constructing your introductions.
b) Do not get into a rut of sameness.
Austin Phelps, The Theory of Preaching, (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1882), p. 266.
c) Do not attempt to be excessively elegant or overly dramatic in your introductions.
d) Learn by observation and practice.
e) Write (as a rule) your introduction in detail.
f) Do not feel you must always have a formal introduction using materials extraneous to the text or subject you are to address.
FURTHER SUGGESTED READING
When one reads the older writers and compares them with the more modern writers on the subject of sermon preparation, it is evident that our forefathers placed much more emphasis on this aspect of sermonic labor. They did so because they were more aware of and in touch with the proven principles of rhetorical art. Since we are called upon “to labor in the Word and in doctrine”, this aspect of sermon preparation should be no little part of that labor. I highly recommend for additional reading on this subject, the following materials:
John A. Broadus, The Preparation and Delivery of Sermons, pp. 268-272.
Robert L. Dabney, Sacred Rhetoric, pp. 140-153.
Austin Phelps, The Theory of Preaching, pp. 220-281.
James M. Hoppin, Homiletics, pp. 334-353
S. T. Sturtevant, The Preachers Manual, pp. 573-641.
Sturtevant gives very helpful quotations and examples of the different kinds of introductions which can be used