I meet a lot of pastors who wait until the last minute on their sermons. Whenever I meet with a pastor or church planter I ask them, “What are you preaching on this Sunday?” I love hearing what series other guys are doing, the creativity. Recently whenever I ask this question, I get blank stares and a response of “I’m not sure, I think I have a title.” Sometimes they aren’t even that far along.
Here are 4 ways to make sure that you are killing yourself on Saturday night to put a sermon together.
- Don’t plan ahead. Don’t worry about it. Don’t think about future series, future topics, just wait. By not planning ahead, you will make sure that you won’t find great quotes, examples, stories to use. You will also keep from being able to use videos, certain songs that will allow artists to thrive in your church. For example, I’m going to preach through Ecclesiastes next spring and just the other day I came across something that will bring my point home next March.
- Believe that your sermon doesn’t really matter. Some of these are connected, but a lot of people just don’t think preaching is that important. Whether they hold that people don’t want to listen to a sermon or that they should just give a lite “here’s how to make Monday better than Friday was” kind of a pep talk. Your sermon matters. The Holy Spirit likes to show up whenever we talk about Jesus and the hope we have in Him. Lives are changed through the power of opening Scripture.
- Unclear on what is the most important thing you do. Too many pastors are not clear on what is the most important thing they do or what should get the majority of their time. Three things occupy the majority of my time: sermon prep, developing leaders, meeting with new people at Revolution. I essentially give almost my entire week to those 3 things. Even when Revolution was smaller and we didn’t have a staff, that’s what I spent my time on, it’s what I do that adds the most value to Revolution Church. If you haven’t already, clarify how much time your sermon will get, give the best of your day to it. I don’t do meetings in the morning, except on Tuesdays, which isn’t a day I work on my sermon. My sermon gets the best hours of my day.
- Be lazy. A mentor told me, “Someone pays the price for a sermon, either the pastor in preparation or the church who has to listen to it.” Too many churches are paying the price instead of the pastor. Why? The pastor is lazy.
What would you add? What things can you do to make sure you wait until the last minute on your sermon?