On Sermon Preparation

Posted by on Nov 19, 2012 in Preaching, Sermon preparation | 5 comments

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. – 2 Timothy 2:15 A pastor’s primary responsibility is to preach and teach the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 4:1-5). Faithfulness to this holy charge requires personal devotion, diligent study, and laborious preparation. Sermons don’t grow on trees! Well, biblical, Christ-exalting sermons...

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On Choosing Sermon Titles

Posted by on Aug 2, 2012 in Preaching, Sermon preparation | 3 comments

The sermon title is not the most important part of a sermon. And choosing a title is not an essential part of sermon preparation. Some preachers slap any title on the sermon after the hard work of preparation. Others decide not to give the sermon a title at all. This is understandable. It is also unwise. Your sermon needs and deserves a good title. To present a sermon without a title is like trying to sell a book with no title. The title...

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On Preaching Without Notes

Posted by on Jul 9, 2012 in Preaching, preaching without notes, Sermon preparation | 4 comments

We were hanging out at the church, waiting for the afternoon service. An unidentified woman pulled up. She was there to pick me up for the service I was schedule to preach at her church that afternoon. My father had told her pastor I would preach the meeting. But he forgot to tell me! So there I was. On my way to preach. Barely in my teens. Scared out of my wits. I preached the story of David and Goliath. This was my introduction to preaching...

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On Writing Sermon Manuscripts

Posted by on Jul 2, 2012 in Preaching, Sermon preparation, Uncategorized | 14 comments

The pastor left his sermon manuscript in the pulpit. When the janitor found it, he couldn’t resist the urge to read it. He was impressed, until he stumbled over a note in the margin: “Argument weak here. Start yelling!” Old story. Timeless truth: Passion is never a substitute for clarity. If you write yourself clear, you won’t have to yell to cover up a weak argument. I am a manuscript preacher who cheats. Most weeks, I write a complete...

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REPOST: You have to do what you have to do!

Posted by on Jun 19, 2012 in Preaching, Sermon preparation | 0 comments

“You have to do whatever the Lord says you have to do in order to preach that Bible.” When I heard a friend say this in a conversation with a group of preachers, I laughed. He was asked his philosophy of sermon preparation. Specifically, they wanted to know what steps he takes to get from text to sermon. How long does it take him to prepare? Things like that. His answer: “You have to do whatever the Lord says to do in order to...

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"There is no fire on that paper!"

Posted by on Sep 10, 2010 in Preaching, preaching without notes, Sermon preparation | 3 comments

It was youth Sunday afternoon. I was hanging out on the church grounds with my dad, waiting for the youth musical to begin. A car pulled up and a woman got out and walked up to me and asked, “Are you ready?” She was the lady assigned to pick me up to preach the youth service at her church that afternoon. The service my father forgot to tell me about. As a boy preacher, just into his teens, this was an indescribable crisis. But I got through it....

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