I sometimes dialog on a blog for pastors. An interesting thread is currently being discussed about how we each prepare our sermons. I found it interesting to read how others do it. So, I figured I would pass along how I go about this process. Even if you don't find it interesting, at least you'll know that I don't spend my time each week on a hammock inbetween Sunday mornings...though that would be nice! My methodology is constantly evolving, but here is my current process:
- I immerse myself in the text of the story or scripture passage the whole week, constantly re-reading it to soak it in, and I pray for divine revelation/insights
- By Wednesday I read various commentaries to gain some insights and make sure my thinking isn't way off course, I do some key word studies in the original language...not too much. I will often listen to a message taught by an older, wiser person that I admire
- I put all my thoughts throughout the week on a dry erase board in a mindmap format constantly looking for the one central point or theme to organize the message around
- I develop a rough draft outline by Thursday…converting it from a mindmap to a linear format centered around the central point
- Friday is my day off -I often get my best ideas then so I just write them down and then forget about them until Saturday
- Saturday is a marathon day. I wake up early and work late.I finish the outline, flesh it out and add illustrations. Then I rewrite the message. I create the handout notes and touch-up any PowerPoint revisions. I review the outline Saturday PM and early Sunday am a few times for memorization and last minute tweaks.
- Sunday I go on stage up with a manuscript but I usually know it well enough by this time to use it as a guide
- The whole process can take me from 15-25 hours
- My goal is to start getting 1 week ahead with the entire process…
Tomorrow, I'll talk about my purpose in preaching.