It is essential that your sermon have this take-home truth.
At some deep mental and emotional level, the listeners are searching for it.
As they listen to you preach, they subconsciously ask,
"What is it you want me to get from this message?"
page 66, Biblical Preaching, by Donald R. Sunukjian

topic + assertion = take-home truth

While composing a one-sentence take-home truth may seem artificial and forced, it serves an important function in disciplemaking: chewability. The sentence condenses the essential meaning of the Scripture text into a graspable, chewable bit.

Mind you, the bit is not left on its own. By no means! Rather it acts like a compass setting for sermon preparation and sermon cogitation. It is the answer to the listener's question: "So what?" It is the bit that gets stuck in the listener's mind, the bit that the Spirit whispers--or shouts--into the soul's ear.


See CC License

“Unless otherwise noted Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.” http://www.esv.org/


  1. so thats why we do it...who knew?

  2. indeed...now to learn to hear the Spirit's whispers...

  3. I really appreciate your summaries / observations as you progress through this book. So much so that I've just ordered myself a copy from Amazon.


  4. Mark, I am glad they are helpful--to you and to the folks in my faith community (like Jeff :-).

    It's funny. Having had Sunukjian's class, I hear his voice when I read--it's kinda cool. I find the book nurtures my soul and rekindles some stress-doused flames.

    While I did not do as well in his class as I would have liked (not that I did poorly; I'm just a grade-nut), I learned a ton. He is passionate about preaching. It shows in his teaching, his grading, his own preaching, and the preaching of those who learn from him. I'm honored to spread the word.