With tongue very firmly in cheek, Colin Adams offers vital advice for anyone who wants to make a train-wreck of sermon application.
1. Interpret the text wrong. The key question to ask is: ‘What do you want the text to say?’ This approach cuts out all the pointless hard work with the text and eliminates the need to reach for those stuffy commentaries.
2. Ignore application or minimise it. Application is hard work for both preacher and hearer. Indeed, it can seem so very unspiritual. You can rely on the Holy Spirit to do any application that might be required. You yourself can relax with easy generalisations and lovely thoughts. If you must apply, then tag it on at the end.
3. Springboard quickly from the text to whatever you want to speak about. Has the Lord ‘laid it on your heart’ to say something about the church’s life? Feel free to ignore what your text actually says and give full reign to your own thoughts and feelings.
4. Be general, vague and samey in your sermon applications. Resist all attempts to be fresh or specific. Simply ring the changes on the following ‘Big Three’: Bible-reading, prayer, and evangelism. It’s simply too dangerous to venture into other areas, such as money, use of the tongue, or anything to do with attitudes of the hearts.
5. Think that application always equals doing. Tell people exactly what they should be doing over the coming week. Ignore underlying attitudes, desires, and motives.
6. Let’s only apply in ways that suit our temperament. If you a gentle, reassuring type, then make sure you applying accordingly. Even the most challenging texts can be used to comfort people, if you try hard enough. Similarly, if you are the no-nonsense prophetic type, then surely you can find in the softest of text a reason for having a go at your hearers.
7. Apply without any reference to Jesus. This is vital. Why would you speak about Jesus from a text that does not even mention him? It’s so tedious trying to find a path to Christ and the gospel from all of those obscure Old Testament passages! Let them stand by themselves. Or, better still, use them as pretexts for airing a few harmless thoughts of your own. You can be proud of what you have achieved: you will have delivered a completely pointless message.
Source. I have used Colin’s headings, but expressed his ideas in largely my own words.