I’m not sure of any other vocation that involves creating as much content as a preacher. Every week, you’re creating, writing, crafting, and molding a new sermon. But you’re not just writing that sermon, you’re researching it, praying through it, letting your subconscious ponder it, and you’re getting ready to present it.
Many preachers are writing and preaching more than just a sermon. They’re writing and preaching two sermons on top of a Bible study. That’s a lot of content. So it’s no surprise that writer’s block is a real thing in the life of a preacher.
If you’ve ever struggled with writer’s block as a preacher, I pray that what follows will help you bring those instances down to almost non-existence.
7 Ways to Avoid Writer’s Block as a Preacher
1. Converse with God regularly
A consistent prayer life is the first way to avoid writer’s block. Why? Because the sermon is God’s work, not ours. We are a tool in the creation of the sermon – nothing more, nothing less.
2. Listen to God regularly
Be in His word on a daily basis. Make this a regular rhythm and make this a devotional reading of Scripture, not prep work for that week’s sermon.
And at the same time, always read with the eyes and ears of a preacher. If something sticks out, write it down in Evernote or a physical notebook.
3. Read, read, read
Prolific writer, Stephen King has said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
Yes, King is not a preacher. But he is a writer and when it comes down to it, you and I are writers whether we think of ourselves in that way or not.
Here are 7 types of books we should be reading (here’s recommendations for each type):
- The Bible, Books on Biblical Studies, and Books on Theology
- Relationship Books
- Spiritual Growth Books
- Church Leadership and General Leadership Books
- Fiction Books
- Preaching Books
If you want to avoid writer’s block, read a lot.
4. Be in community
Too many pastors are going through life alone. And not only is that hurting their soul and their ability to live out the mission of God, it’s hurting their preaching. When we’re disconnected to our people and the people in our community, we’re missing a gold mine of insight and connection when it comes to our preaching.
Not sure what to preach on? Struggling with writer’s block?
Get out of the office and spend time with people in your congregation and out of your congregation.
God will work through those relationships to blast down the wall of writer’s block.
5. Listen to a variety of preachers
I absolutely love podcasts and the opportunities the Church has to use them for the glory of God. Not only that, but I’m thankful for the medium because I benefit greatly from the ability to listen to thousands of different preachers preach the word.
Right now, my sermons section of my podcast player consists of the following churches and preachers (ABC order):
- Elevation Church – Steven Furtick
- John Piper Sermons
- North Point Community Church – Andy Stanley
- Progressive Baptist Church Podcast – Charlie Dates
- The Village Church – Matt Chandler
- Transformation Church – Derwin Gray
Additionally, I get to listen to Kenny White at The Crossing every week I’m not preaching.
A couple other people I like to tune into on video (can’t find their church’s podcasts) are:
One more thing about listening to other preachers: only a few of these preachers are from my tribe. The majority have differing theology from me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn from them and grow from them.
I’d love to hear who you listen to and I’d also love to get the link to your sermons via podcast. Tweet me and let me know.
If you want to avoid writer’s block as a preacher, listen to a variety of preachers.
6. Periodically change your environment
There’s definitely value in having a space you write consistently. But there’s also a lot of value to change your environment when you feel like writer’s block is coming.
- Go to a coffee shop
- Go to a park
- If you have a home office, try that
7. Periodically change your medium
I love using the notebook I created for sermon prep. But I also love to use a whiteboard and Evernote. Oftentimes, I’ll use all three because the change in medium helps my creative juices flow.
Switch it up.
What Would You Add?
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