Lesson 6: How to Choose Sermon Topics That Touch The Soul


  • Identifying the needs of your audience
    • Understand the most deeply felt needs of your audience by considering their current phase of life and the biggest problems they are facing.
    • Use surveys to ask your congregation about their biggest problems, needs, and most impactful church experiences to identify their perceived needs.
    • Recognize that an unmet need results from a problem, and addressing these needs can make your sermons more impactful.
  • Tailoring sermon topics to meet those needs
    • Choose sermon topics that directly address the needs identified through congregation surveys.
    • Ensure sermon ideas align with the mission and vision of your church, equip your audience to fulfill this vision in their own lives, and challenge them to take action.
    • Consider the balance between providing comfort and challenging your audience with uncomfortable topics to engage them more deeply.
    • Focus on sermon topics that not only meet the immediate needs of your congregation but also inspire them to bring others to your church by showing the fruit in their own lives.

Lesson Overview:

This lesson delves into the art of selecting sermon topics that resonate deeply with the congregation, focusing on identifying and addressing their most deeply felt needs. Through understanding the current life phase and challenges faced by your audience, and employing tools like surveys, you can craft sermons that not only meet their spiritual needs but also inspire and challenge them to grow in their faith and outreach.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Identifying Audience Needs: Understand your congregation’s current life phases, problems, and deeply felt needs through direct engagement and surveys. Recognizing these needs allows for sermons that truly resonate.
  2. Tailoring Sermons to Meet Needs: Choose topics that directly address the identified needs, ensuring they align with your church’s mission and vision. These sermons should equip and challenge your congregation to live out their faith more authentically.
  3. Balancing Comfort and Challenge: Aim to find a delicate balance in your sermon topics, providing both comfort in times of need and challenging your audience when growth is necessary. This approach engages your congregation on a deeper level.
  4. Inspiring Outreach and Growth: Focus on sermon topics that not only address immediate needs but also inspire congregation members to share their faith and bring others into the church community.

Action Steps:

  1. Engage with Your Congregation: Regularly conduct surveys or hold forums to understand the evolving needs of your congregation. Use this information to guide your sermon planning.
  2. Align Sermons with Vision: Ensure that your sermon topics are not only relevant but also reflect the mission and vision of your church, encouraging members to embody these principles in their daily lives.
  3. Challenge and Comfort: Intentionally plan sermons that both comfort the weary and challenge the comfortable, fostering growth and deeper engagement with faith.
  4. Encourage Testimonies: Invite members to share how specific sermons or teachings have impacted their lives, reinforcing the importance of addressing real-life issues through your messages.

By thoughtfully choosing sermon topics that touch the soul, you can foster a deeply engaged and spiritually growing congregation, fulfilling the mission of your church in the world.

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