Shaping the Claim takes readers beyond the initial steps of theological analysis, contextual explorations, and biblical exegesis to help the preacher discover the core of the message to be preached – the sermonic “claim.”
In order to be effective, says McMickle, a sermon needs to address the hearers at three distinct levels; the head or the intellect, the heart or passion and conviction, and the hand or an expected and desired response. The sermonic claim is the way in which the sermon engages the listener at all three levels. In order to discover the biblical”claim” that a sermon should make upon a particular congregation at a particular time, McMickle presents a helpful three-step process: (1) What? (2) So What? and (3) Now What?
The book is keyed to online sermon samples and other Web-based features such as sermon illustrations and art at elementsofpreaching.com.