How do you start?
One way to construct a sermon is:
INTRODUCTION: Tell them what you are going to tell them
BODY: Tell them it
CONCLUSION: Tell them what you just told them
The introduction and conclusion are similar but the conclusion is the thing you write first:
1. CONCLUSION. This is what I want to leave people with. My main point.
2. INTRODUCTION. This tells you in brief what I will say to you in detail.
3. BODY. This is the detail. More on this at a later date.
But your introduction isn't identical to the conclusion because your introduction also needs to include:
ME MAP GRAB
ME. Who am I and what right do I have to be speaking about this?
MAP. Where will this sermon journey be going? Where is the destination?
GRAB. Why should you listen?
You can prepare your introduction in advance but it is almost impossible to prepare the very first thing you will say. The first thing you say needs to link from the rest of the context to the talk you are about to give. Examples:
It's lovely to be back in this beautiful church again and I am so impressed with the way you look after it.
Thanks for reading that passage so well Cynthia; we're going to be looking at it in some detail so keep your place in the Bible.
It's terrible weather out there tonight so we may as well settle down with God's word until it clears up.
That hymn sums up one of the key themes I want to talk about when it says...