Preparing the message you are going to preach is a hard process. I fall into the temptation every week to just jump right in whether that be on Sunday afternoon or Monday morning.
I have learned some important truths though. If I am not personally prepared spiritually, physically, and mentally to start this task then I will end up frustrated, unproductive, and unfulfilled.
Here are some things I have learned to do to prepare myself before I prepare a sermon.
Pray For All These Things (And More)
Before you even begin preparing the sermon pray:
- That the Holy Spirit will speak through you
- That you will remove all your pre-conceived notions about the text
- That God’s Word would have a massive effect on the lives of the listeners
- That your prep time would be powerful and effective
- That you would rely less on yourself and more on the Holy Spirit and God’s Word
Pray all this and more before you start preparing. A sermon that is not bathed in prayer is one I never want to preach nor hear!
Study The Bible Unrelated To Your Sermon Text
Many times I can fall into the trap of saying “I prepared a sermon this week; I studied the Bible” But this is not healthy for the preacher. When we only study when we need to get a sermon out of the text we are short changing our devotional life.
Make sure you read from the Bible before you begin your sermon preparation in a way that is not only tied into the sermon you are going to preach this week.
Don’t go into your prep time unprepared. As we have talked about already, be bathed in prayer and devotional time. But, also, physically prepare yourself to write a sermon. Sleep well, eat right, exercise. Make sure you feel good physically and alert mentally before you undertake this great task.
Set Aside Time to Prep
Yes, before you even start preparing make sure you have set aside some time just for sermon preparation. This will make your prep time a lot more effective.
This will work if you are full time or bi-vocational, or maybe if you preach once a month or two. If you can commit at least 2 hours to start your study and writing on Monday or Tuesday you will be in a lot healthier place even if you cannot get back to it until Thursday or Friday (or Saturday).
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