A Strategy for Sermon Development

Below is a guest post from my friend, Blake Appleby. This guest post challenged me as a speaker, and I felt compelled to share it with you today. 

“I heard a preacher once say, “Your messages are best cooked in a crock pot, not a microwave.” I cannot disagree with this statement. I believe the more time we spend marinating in the text, the more our passion will build and the more effective we will be. It also provides ample time to gather clear thoughts.

With that being said, I strive to be twelve weeks ahead.  Now, I’m not saying that I have twelve weeks of messages ready. I’m simply stating that I prefer to have an idea of what is on the horizon instead of rushing to prepare.

Over a twelve week period, I break down messages in three ways. First, I’ll spend three weeks on aRelevant Teaching. These messages tend to lean more towards the topical side of communicating the Word. Next, I strive to devote six weeks to Expository Preaching. This means we are going to travel verse-by-verse. Finally, I will schedule three weeks for Doctrinal Teaching. For instance, we could breakdown the Trinity, or another important doctrine.

12 Week Example:

Week One: How To Start Well (Relevant Teaching)
Week Two-Three: A Walk Thru Romans (Expository Preaching)
Week Four: Trinity: The Father (Doctrinal Teaching)

Week One: What Does the Bible Say About Dating? (Relevant Teaching)
Week Two-Three: A Walk Through Romans (Expository Preaching)
Week Four: Trinity: The Son (Doctrinal Teaching)

Week One: March Madness: Anger (Relevant Teaching)
Week Two-Three: A Walk Thru Romans (Expository Preaching)
Week Four: Trinity: The Holy Spirit (Doctrinal Teaching)

Note: Most of the Relevant and Doctrinal Teachings I share with our students are verse-by-verse, exegetical, contextual teachings.
This is a pattern, and often times God has a way of breaking our patterns. I am not so focused on a pattern that I neglect His presence and prodding. On multiple occasions, God has divinely interrupted my plans and led me to speak from a completely different passage. But, He has allowed this pattern to stick more often than not. It works, and I hope it can work for you.

What are your thoughts? How do you prepare? Do you have a preaching calendar?
Message me at bappleby@fbcumatilla.org if you have any questions, or if you wish to discuss this any further.”

About Blake: Blake Appleby was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. He currently serves as Youth Pastor at First Baptist Church of Umatilla. Blake is married to his beautiful wife, Meredith. Blake  is passionate about reaching students with the Gospel. God has blessed him and his wife with an ability to effectively communicate with teenagers. Outside of ministry, he is an avid runner, coffee drinker, and writer. In the summer of 2013, Blake will launch a new student devotional entitled, Free. If you are interested in having Blake speak at your church, or student events- you can contact him personally at blakeappleby@gmail.com or here.

Connect with Blake:
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