Models of Sermon Preparation Organisation

Weekly preachers have different ways of getting a message together each week:

  • Prepare early and relax. Often used by full text preachers who get it done on Tuesday or Wednesday then they can focus fully on other tasks.
  • Chip away day by day. This model is big on “ruminating” on the message wherever you go.
  • Forget about it until Saturday. Focus on other parts of the work completely and leave Saturday completely free for 1 solid block of preparation
  • Two part attack. Break the back of the preparation in one session during the week then use Saturday to complete and polish the result. Often used by people who have a Thursday or Friday day off and want to not be stressed about preaching as they rest.
  • Last minute rush. Harness the pressure and work on it until the late hours of Saturday night, or wake up early Sunday morning to plough through it. I knew one preacher who got up at 3am on Sunday mornings. These preachers come to the pulpit with zeal, their manuscript is hot off the laser printer as they preach.

I was floored reading Spurgeon’s autobiography 2 years ago when he says he prepared his sermon after early dinner on Saturday night, and the Sunday night message on Sunday afternoon.

I think I have used most of these models. I also have my own preparation process broken down into a checklist so when I am weary I can crank through the steps. I much prefer to be organised and well prepared. It is better for my family too.

I find it helpful to at least use Monday to create the electronic file with a full copy of the text and headings, so I have a document ready to type ideas into throughout the week.

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