top of page

Narrative Preaching

One of Jesus's favorite ways to teach was by using stories. Indeed, throughout the Old and New Testament, the Lord is constantly using stories. Obviously, he believes that stories are a powerful way to communicate his truth.


What if our preaching and teaching could make better use of this powerful tool? What if our preaching or teaching on stories could itself feel more narrative without in any way watering down the truth of what the Lord is saying?

I've copied here some guidance on preaching narratives. You will read of four different ways that narratives can be preached. I used the story of David and Goliath as my model, providing sermon outlines for each of the four approaches as well as a sermon manuscript for one of them. I've also copied below some examples of different narrative sermons I've preached over the years.

May the Lord bless your efforts as you continue to work diligently at preaching and teaching well!

Narrative Sermon Examples

The following sermons are all either preached on narrative texts (Luke 18:9-14; Ruth; 1 Sam 17; Gen 22) or take a non-narrative text and present it in a narrative fashion (Leviticus 16). They can all be characterized as inductive (as opposed to deductive).

An inductive sermon on Jesus's parable of the tax collector and the Pharisee.

Jay Sklar, Luke 18,9-14, inductive #1 approach to a narrative
00:00 / 29:47

A third-person inductive sermon on the book of Ruth.

Jay Sklar, Book of Ruth, third person narrative
00:00 / 34:57

A third-person inductive sermon on the story of David and Goliath. For some reason, the first few seconds got cut off but a transcript of the sermon can be found here.

Jay Sklar, 1 Sam 17, David and Goliath 3rd person narrative
00:00 / 20:42

A first-person inductive sermon on the Day of Atonement passage in Lev 16. (Note: you will hear the switch into the first person partway into the sermon. I simply stepped back from the pulpit, turned my back briefly to the congregation, then turned back to the congregation, stepped towards the pulpit and adopted the first-person. To switch out of this at the end of the sermon, I simply did the same in reverse.

Jay Sklar, Lev 16, The Day of Atonement and the Day that Atonement Came, first person narr
00:00 / 38:07

A first-person inductive sermon on the binding of Isaac in Gen 22. See comments above on Lev 16 for how I enter into and out of the first-person narration.

Jay Sklar, Gen 22, Abraham and Isaac first person narrative
00:00 / 27:07
bottom of page