Sermon prep is one of those topics that looks different for every pastor. For some pastors sermon prep happens in a local cafe while for others it happens on the fly. There are some pastors that are bi-vocational and simply download sermons. There are all kinds of ways for a pastor to prepare for the Sunday sermon.
What I have been doing for years like many pastors is to simply pray and ask God for guidance. This is not to say the examples I listed above do not do that. I am sure they do…in fact all pastors should. What I enjoy about a social networking world is that it becomes easier and easier to know which way a sermon or sermon series should go. I may find inspiration through trending topics, what is popular in pop-culture or what seems to be going on in the political world. I admit I do not do many expository messages. That is taking a passage of scripture and working through it in a sermon format. I am more of a topical sermon giver (is that a word?).
My favorite place to prepare a sermon is within the comfort of my own home office. Rarely do I use the little office at the church to knock out a sermon. There is nothing wrong with it but the office at church is where I go over my sermon one more time on a Sunday morning before service. In my home office it is cozy with a few books, desk, computer and a killer sound system for music. This really helps when I am doing sermon series like the one I am currently in entitled Classic Rock. I can play the song over and over through a good sound system. It inspires me to put a rough draft together.
Each Monday I come up with a rough draft for the following Sunday. I usually let that sit open on my computer to brew for the week. Throughout the week I will make changes, add stories, delete things, etc. My goal (which usually works out) is to have the finished sermon by Thursday night. This is not to say what I have finished is final. There have been plenty of times where I switched gears and went in another direction due to the Holy Spirit impressing on me a new thought or idea. Even when I was a youth pastor I was never one to prepare a sermon the day of or the night before I was to deliver it. I do recall one pastor priding himself on throwing a sermon together the day of. Let’s just say he is not pastoring any longer. People that attend a church where the pastor is full time deserves a sermon that is well thought out so that they know their pastor is hearing from God on this.
It’s safe to say that sermon prep is one of my favorite things to do. That and tech Tuesday where I post sermons, put together the weekly email and more. I am a nerd. So there you have it…that’s what sermon prep looks like for me.