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6 Ways To Overcome The Dreaded Preaching Block

As Pastor, you've done a bunch of exegetical work for your Sunday sermon, yet you're still at a standstill with the overall focus and organization of your sermon. Now your sermon preparation morning is turning into afternoon. You've hit a roadblock. Your Wednesday has now become a Friday, and Sunday is now looming. Your sermon doesn't seem to gel and you feel stuck. How can you get unstuck? Here are a couple of things that have helped me over the years preparing sermons.

Pray Over Your Sermon: Praying should be a constant posture during your sermon prep. But there may be a time when you need to hit the pause button and pray. Ask the Lord for wisdom, ask him for a breakthrough. Tell God how you are honestly feeling about your sermon and your struggles. Also ask the Lord to reveal in you whether there is something in your life that is causing a roadblock (Ps. 139:23,24).

Work On The Sermon In A Public Place: Often times preparing my whole sermon locked up in my study makes the sermon feel too academic. This sermon that the Lord has called me to preach is going to be preached to people. Therefore I find working on a part of my sermon in a public place, like a coffee shop, gives me a good perspective in thinking through how to apply the Word of God to people...their real problems, fears, hopes and joys.

Take A Walk: Taking a walk through the woods, helps me clear my mind and reconnect with God. The great preacher and theologian Jonathan Edwards often found the same communication and clarity with God while walking in the woods. He shares with us the importance of these walks in his Personal Narrative:
I spent most of my time in thinking of divine things, year after year; often walking alone in the woods, and solitary places, for meditation, soliloquy, and prayer, and converse with God.
Read: Perhaps reading another perspective or commentary may help you see the sermon and text through a fresh lens and may open up some additional thoughts and insights.

Pause: Get away from your sermon for a while. Take a nap. Go exercise. Play.

Talk Out Your Sermon With Another Person: I am a verbal processor. If I try to articulate my sermon and thoughts to another person, it can sometimes help me bring clarity. Perhaps try to talk out your sermon, especially in it's raw form, with your spouse or another ministry leader in your church. Welcome their feedback, thoughts, comments and suggestions.


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