A Very Important and Underrated Tool of Sermon Prep

I have a routine when I am preparing my message for Sunday morning. But something that has immeasurable impact when crafting my sermons is something I do outside of my set sermon prep time.


light-465350__180That “something” is regularly reading.

Now reading commentaries, and the Scriptures I am pulling from for my sermon is a given in rigid prep time, but what I am talking about happens in the morning when I wake up or in the evening right before I go to bed.

Regularly reading helps me produce illustrations, manage content, and grow as a communicator.

I am talking about reading a book (physical copy, e-reader, tablet, phone) and not just preaching books or theology books, but biographies, fiction, historical non-fiction or anything you are interested in. There is an inherent value in that information whether it sparks an a lifelong interest or maybe it hands you a story on a platter to share with your congregation.

When you read consistently you have a wealth of information stored in your brain that can access anytime, and while preparing a message this is a key skill.

It doesn’t end at just reading books though.

Regularly reading local news, national news, global news can be a big help as well.

A communicator should be relevant and one way to achieve relevancy is to stay up to date on the news that are affecting people. The news is, in principle, story, and a good story is always something a communicator needs.

Another place to read effectively is blogs.

Here at RookiePreacher we give a set of impactful links every Saturday morning, so if you need a place to start, start HERE.

Reading what people in your profession, or other communicators or storytellers or people you disagree with is vital in your well-roundedness as a communicator. As preachers we have a responsibility to continually and consistently improve at our craft.

Blogs are a good way to filter through other professionals’ thoughts and figure out which principles, pieces, and particulars can most benefit you as a communicator.

I completely agree with the principle that an isolated communicator is most likely going to be an ineffective communicator.

One way to branch out effectively as a communicator is to read consistently. Books, newspapers, blogs, anything to stimulate learning and connection to culture within you are effective ways to improve.

Be sure to be a good steward of time when reading, reading something that is invaluable or empty can end up being a huge waste of time. Try to evaluate the best you can whether or not a source is going to be valuable to your mind, work, and communication before you spend hours with it.

Reading consistently from many sources can have a valuable impact on your communication.

This is why reading consistently is a underrated and rewarding tool in sermon preparation.

So start reading consistently today!

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Written by Joe Hoagland

Joe is a pastor at Rise Church in Marion, Oh. He is married to his awesome wife Jenna and they have one daughter Aryella.

He loves to lead people to Jesus and preach God's word.

You can often times find Joe hiking, camping, writing, reading, or enjoying technology.


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