Finding Your Rhythm for Sermon Preparation

I recently wrote Rethinking Sermon Preparation where I talked about the nature of sermon preparation (God works on and in the preacher first so that the preacher can help hearers take a similar journey). This post is about finding your rhythm for sermon preparation.

It’s easy to fall into a rut with sermon preparation. We may learn how to prepare sermons in a college or seminary class, or on our own, and think that’s the only way to prepare sermons. Then we’re stuck doing it that way for the rest of our lives!

But, there’s really no one-size-fits-all approach for sermon preparation. You have to find what works for you, and the only way you can do that is through lots of experimentation and trial and error!

Some preachers carve out one full day or two half days a week for sermon prep; others schedule smaller blocks of time each day. Some prepare week to week, focusing on one sermon at a time; others work on sermons a few weeks ahead of time. Some work in quiet, secluded places; others prefer noisy, public places. Some write out full manuscripts or detailed notes; others create story maps or story boards.

The bottom line is, don’t fall into the trap of thinking there’s only one way to prepare sermons. Work on it until you find the rhythm that works best for you, and be flexible to adjust it, as necessary.

How has your sermon prep evolved over the years? What have been the most significant changes you’ve made in your preparation? What adjustments will you make in the near future?

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Randy Willis

Follower of Jesus. Husband, Dad. Pastor.

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