Every sermon should have an introduction.
Broadus states that the introduction should have two chief objects: to interest the hearers in the subject,
and to prepare them to understand it.
1. The preacher usually can count on the willingness of his hearers to hear.
And a lively introduction may capture their attention at the very beginning.
A young preacher asked an older preacher as to what would be the best way to get the attention
of the congregation.
The older preacher said: "Give 'em something to attend to."
2. Then the audience must be prepared to understand the subject.
But we must be careful to guard against the danger of anticipating something that belongs to the body
of the sermon.
The sources from which the preacher may find introductions are numerous and various.
Broadus classifies them as follows:
1. The text.
Wherever the meaning of the text requires explanation, this explanation may form the introduction.
Also, of explanation of the context would throw light on the meaning of the text.
2. The subject to be discussed.
Broadus says that where the sermon is designed to be explanatory or practical,
an introduction on the relevance of the subject to some present need or problem
will often be appropriate; where the sermon is to establish the truth of a proposition
or to exhibit its importance, the introduction will frequently explain the nature of the subject involved.
3. The occasion
When the sermon has reference to some particulars season of the year or is preached
at some special religious meeting, in regard to the administration of an ordinance,
the preacher may begin by remarking upon the occasion.
4. There is an immense variety of other sources, which do not belong to any classification and can only
be called miscellaneous.
The Qualities of a Good Introduction
Broadus gives several qualities of a good introduction.
1. The introduction must present some thought closely related to the theme naturally and with ease.
Broadus says: "You have determined to carry the audience along a certain line of thought,
hoping to arrive at a definite and important conclusion.
Do not first wander about and stray awhile into other paths, but lead on towards the route selected and enter it."
2. The introduction should generally consist of a single thought.
3. It is desirable to avoid the practice of beginning with some very broad and commonplace generality.
4. The introduction must not seem to promise too much in its thoughts, style, or delivery.
5. A good introduction would, in general, the exclusively adapted to the particular sermon.
6. The introduction must not be long.
7. The introduction should be carefully prepared.