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5 Keys To Effective Sermon Prep

excerpted from Chad Brooks

I remember when I first started preaching. There was no rhyme or reason to how I prepared. I just started typing with an empty document and hoped for the best. Later, I took a few notes from my Bible and started at least working with a basic idea in mind.

Over the last several years I have put a pretty good rhythm into place. These are five essential practices that I believe will help anyone’s sermon preparation.

1. Read. That’s it. You have to be reading. Read many different types of writing; articles, magazines, the newpaper and online. Read books related or unrelated to ministry. You will be surprised how much material you begin building up in your head.

2. Have a holding tank. Find a way to capture this information. I use Evernote and a Field Notes notebook. Between the two, I always have something with me. I organize Evernote with three folders to keep me moving forward and specific notebooks and folders for sermons I am researching/writing and preparing. 

3. Have a preaching calendar. This is the best way to stay ahead and make sure you are preaching the whole counsel of God. It also is a huge help to the folks who assist in worship.

4. Ask others. Asking other people what they need to hear from church and letting them in on the preparation and visioning part of sermon work will not only be a help to you, but teach others about the holy act of preaching and preparation.

5. Find/build and stick to a preparation rhythm. This is one of the hardest, but most rewarding practices. Learning to get this built into your weekly schedule will transform your sermon preparation. It will keep you on task and getting done early in the week (no one likes to write a sermon on Saturday).


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