Do you know where you're going?
An annoying question when your wife asks you. Especially when you're obviously lost :-)
But knowing where you're going is one of the secret weapons of preaching.
And it doesn't get enough attention. Which is too bad because it goes a long way in determining whether you keep your head above water.
How do you do this? How do you plan ahead and avoid living sermon-to-sermon, or series-to-series?
Here are 4 elements to a healthy sermon planning system:
1. Use an annual preaching calendar.
Use a spreadsheet and add some columns for the date of the sermon, the text you're preaching, and your main point. Bonus points if you include columns for sermon series and notes - who's preaching, special events or holidays, etc.
Plan 6-12 months in advance and take the guesswork out of what you're preaching for the rest of the year.
2. Build a preaching team.
Find 2-4 other people who help with research and sermon building, as well as occasionally filling in for you. Meet weekly, invest in their development, and ask them to help you.
Inviting others to help you preach is an investment in the long-term health of your church.
3. Preach the gospel in every message.
What is the good news in this text? Displaying that in a clear and compelling manner is your job as a preacher. And regardless of the text, preaching the gospel is your goal. Every time you preach.
The distinguishing mark of Christian preaching is that the gospel is the message that is communicated. Make this your aim - the gospel from any text in every sermon.
4. Preach to your context.
While the gospel message in the Bible is timeless and true in every culture and generation, it is nuanced enough to speak into the particular world that your church inhabits. When you can translate and show how what is always true is absolutely true for you and your people, your message comes alive.
God has not asked you to preach to everybody. There are unique stories and situations in the lives of the people you lead that demand precision in your illustration, explanation and application of the Scriptures.
Do The Next Right Thing
To learn more about what it takes to build a Sermon Planning System, download our FREE resource, The 3 Systems You Need To Preach Better Sermons.
It will help you evaluate your preaching and provide clear next steps to help you continue to grow as a preacher.
Comment below with questions or observations. And feel free to share this with others using the menu at the bottom of the screen.
Thanks for the opportunity to help you get the most out of your preaching!