Tuesday, August 07, 2007

So You're Preaching Sunday

Columnist/pastor Ray Pritchard has ten suggestions for the pastor who has to get "up" for preaching every Sunday. Here is an excerpt from today's entry on his Crosswalk blog. To see the entire piece, click on http://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/pritchard/11550331/

So You’re Preaching This Sunday

Let’s suppose you’re a pastor and you’re preaching this Sunday. That’s six days away. To the man or woman in the pew, that seems like a long time, but it’s not. Perhaps you’ve heard of the Preacher’s Calendar. It goes like this . . .


That’s the way it feels to those who preach every week. You routinely come to Saturday wondering what happened to the last five days. And where is that sermon you have to preach tomorrow morning?

Speaking as one who spent 27 years getting ready to preach every Sunday, I know that feeling of utter end-of-the-week desperation, and I’ve done my share of late-Saturday night sermonizing. Someone told me that sermon illustration websites have their highest visitor rates very early on Sunday morning. Been there, done that, too.

But today is Monday. Yesterday is gone forever. If you preached well, you’re probably feeling good today. If you struggled, you’re probably still trying to shake it off.

Doesn’t matter. Either way you’ve got to get up and do it again in just six days. That’s both the joy and the burden of local church ministry. The Sundays keep rolling around whether you’re ready or not.

So what should you do today to get ready for next Sunday? I have a very good friend in Chicago who writes his next sermon on Monday. He generally doesn’t stop until he has the big idea and the main points on paper.

Strength to that man. I was never very good at sermonizing on Monday. But still you need to do something on Monday because Sunday comes in just two days (remember the Preacher’s Calendar). You lose three days every week taking care of church affairs and Saturday blends into Sunday so they really become one long day.

If you are preaching this Sunday, take 30 minutes and do this today:

1) Read your text out loud.
2) Stand up and walk around while reading your text out loud.
3) Read your text in at least five different translations.
4) Take three minutes and jot down five questions about your text.
5) Pick a hymn or a chorus that reminds you of your text and sing it out loud.
6) Think of three preachers you admire and ask yourself, “How would they preach this text?”
7) Find a sermon on the Internet on your text and read it.
8) Give yourself ten minutes (but no more than that) to write a sermon skeleton.
9) Listen to the first five minutes of any sermon by a preacher you admire.
10) Pray that God would open the eyes of your heart (Ephesians 1:18).


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