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7 Defining moments in your sermon preparation (4)

You want to be the most prepared preacher possible, but you must preach with a profound sense of your dependence on God.

BIBLICAL PREACHING AUTOR 108/Peter_Mead 30 DE MAYO DE 2024 10:30 h
Photo: [link]Ryan Riggins[/link], Unsplash, CC0.

There are multiple defining moments in the sermon preparation process.

We have thought about starting the process, shifting from passage study to message formation, becoming conscious of who will be listening, and the unplanned interruptions that seem to prevent a smooth preparation.

There is one more defining moment left. It is one to add if it doesn’t happen naturally:


7. The realization of insufficiency

You want to be a good steward of your opportunity to preach. You desire to give your best, both in terms of exegetical rigour, and pastoral sensitivity in sermon crafting.  And perhaps the process has allowed better than normal focus, with more clear hours for preparation than you expected. 

Maybe nothing broke at home, no hospital visits were necessary, and everything was unusually peaceful and supportive along the way.  Will you go into preaching feeling confident in your preparation, your skill, and your work of sermonic art?  I hope not. 

When we feel we have “the best of sermons” then we tend to discover the false promise of self-sufficiency. 

If God has not brought you to humble dependency through a log jam, or through an interruption, or through years of preaching experience, then it is totally acceptable to bring yourself to the place of total dependency. 

Some combination of “apart from you, I can do nothing” prayer content along with a flat-on-your-face prayer posture is highly appropriate. 

One of my teachers always prayed that he had a stick but needed God to come through as he threw it on the ground.  You want to be the most prepared preacher possible, but you must preach with a profound sense of your dependence on God.

What other defining moments do you recognize in your sermon preparation process?

Okay, here is a bonus one as I reflect on the list:


Bonus: The recognition of the coherence of the passage

Thinking back to the study of the passage, it is critical to arrive at the recognition that the passage holds together. It is easy to skip past this once you start to see some points that will preach.

But actually, for your message to feel coherent, you need to recognise that the passage is also coherent. What unifies it? How does it hold together? How do the points and details relate to each other?

Assume the Bible writer was not jumbled or scattered in his thinking, and keep thinking until you can see how it is a single unit of thought.

Peter Mead is mentor at Cor Deo and author of several books. He blogs at Biblical Preaching



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