Sermon Central is a great resource that I use regularly. They provide a collection of sermons, illustrations, visuals, and videos that can be a major help to you for your sermon prep. They also send out blogs regularly. Recently I came across a blog entitled, “How Mark Driscoll prepares his sermons.” This caught my eye quick, because I like Mark Driscoll and I like preaching. So, I read it, and it brought about some great thoughts. You can read the blog here. It gave me the topic for my next blog post and here it is. How do I prepare a sermon? Here is how I go about preparing a sermon:
- Pray – Every good sermon must start with prayer. Prayer is our connection to God and the Word is His connection to us. Before every sermon, I spend a great deal of time in prayer. What do I pray for? I pray for what topic/passage to speak on. I pray that God would give me the main thought that He wants me to communicate to the people. I pray for lost souls and how I can include the Gospel in this message. I pray for the saints who need to be challenged but also encouraged. I pray for decisions to be made. I pray for clarity of the passage as well as effective communication of the truth that God wants me to deliver! We have tons of things to pray for, and prayer is where preaching begins! By the way, your personal quiet time is extremely important for God to speak to you and give you direction on preaching and sermons.
- Collect – I spend time collecting articles, statistics, books, resources, illustrations, visuals, videos, and blog posts about the sermon that I will be speaking on. For instance, I speak every Wednesday to our students. So, on Thursday, I will begin collecting these things up until the next Wednesday when I preach. It brings about much thought and direction for your message during the week before sitting down and writing it all out.
- Decide – By Monday, I most definitely have a really good idea of where God is taking the sermon. This is where you need to get your main idea and thought nailed down in your mind so everything around it and can point people to that main thought.
- Study – I read an estimate of about 7 commentaries of each passage that I speak on. I also look online at resources and sermons. Here are some of my favorite commentators: Warren Wiersbe, H.A. Ironside, John MacArthur, John Piper, Oliver Green, J. Vernon McGee, Matthew Henry, and The Bible Knowledge Commentary. Some resources online that I use are Desiring God, Grace to you, The Resurgence, Blue Letter Bible, Sermon Central, and of course Google. Here are some of the resources that I use for media: Sermon Central, Youtube, The Skit Guys, Share Faith, and Graceway Media.
- Examine – I spend specific time as I prepare my sermons examining my heart to make sure I am living what I am speaking. This is where most preachers go wrong. If you are not living what you are speaking, it is invalid and ultimately vain. I am not saying you must be perfect, but God should be developing the main idea you are speaking on in your life. Normally, I am convicted before I speak. Do not run from this, this is a very good thing.
- Write – I write about 70% of what I believe God wants me to say down on a script. I bold the main point down on my script. I typically bring it all up to preach, and God just brings the thoughts to my mind, which is great so I am not tied down to my notes. I am big on points. I think a message should have action points. People should leave church with a challenge or a reminder. So, during this, I create my action points.
- Prepare – When the script of my sermon is complete, I then create my power-point and outline for our students. This is important to do after you are completely done with your script. The reason is if you try to do both at the same time, you may change it on the script, and not on the power-point, and things get messed up. I use power-point and an outline for our students every Wednesday. The students are very visual, and so seeing the thoughts on the screen along with writing down things themselves is extremely helpful and beneficial.
- Invitation – I try to prepare what the Lord wants during the response time (invitation) ahead of time.
- Pray – Prayer should begin your sermon prep, be the center of your prep, and should conclude your prep. Prayer is where it starts and ends!
- Deliver – This is where you rely solely on the Spirit to speak through you!
Sermon Prep is different with every person. So, I am not saying my method is the best or only method. I think it is one of the many methods. It works for me. If you have any thoughts or just want to share how you prepare a sermon, let me know. I do encourage you to read the post about how Mark Driscoll prepares a sermon. You can read it here.