Sermon prep time No. 2

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by rlvaughn, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    In the Sermon Prep Time thread, some posters indicated that their sermon prep time is on a kind of "descending scale" -- more for Sunday morning, less for Sunday night, least for Wednesday night. These questions are for those who use such a descending scale (not for a debate from those who don't).

    On what basis do you justify the descending scale?

    Are Sunday morning sermons more important?

    Are the people who attend on Sunday morning more needy?

    Are the Sunday morning sermons allotted more time wise?

    Other thoughts, comments?
     
  2. PastorSBC1303

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    I have always given more time to Sunday AM because that is the time when the message will have the opportunity to touch the most lives.

    I would not say the message is any more important, but the opportunity is more important.

    No.

    Are you speaking of actual time in the pulpit? Generally my Sunday AM and PM messages are about 35-40 mins.

    It generally takes me 12-15 hours for my Sunday AM message. If I allot the same amount of time for PM message and Wednesday night I will never get out of my study. Personally I would love to have more time to study for PM and Wed messages, but I just do not think it is a wise use of my time. I will be neglecting the other areas of my ministry and my time with my family.
     
  3. rlvaughn

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    Yes. That poorly worded question should be something like, "Do you preach longer on Sunday morning than on Sunday night?" IOW, is the "declining scale" not only related to study time, but also sermon time. For example, 1 hour on Sunday morning, 45 minutes on Sunday night, and 30 minutes on Wednesday (or something like that).
     
  4. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    My Sunday AM and Sunday PM messages are each about 35-40 mins. Wednesday night is more of an interactive bible study, but usually goes 20-30 mins.
     
  5. TomVols

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    I spend the extra time in cutting down, crafting my language, and polishing the meat on the bones. Sun AM crowds tend to have more unsaved folks, visitors, etc. I must be very careful in how I attempt to reach these folks. I'm not watering down. I'm clarifying and crafting well. I have to be on my toes even moreso. On Sun and Wed evening, these folks tend to be devoted, dedicated and the sermons can be a little more "hair-down" if you will. I'm not cutting exposition time, but time in shaping the delivery, if that makes sense. These folks can take more meat without me having to carve it for them. Martyn Lloyd Jones did the exact opposite because of British culture. The Sun AM foks tended to be the true-blue, where the PM folks tended to be more evangelistic in nature and required more preparation to explain the gospel carefully.
    That's a bit of a loaded question. Important in that, if I know I have a lost person there and I share the gospel haphazardly, I will give much more of an account. But every sermon is important.
    See above.
    Not in my last FT pastorate. The choir held much of the service hostage, especially before worship was reformed. I'd end up with about 15-20 mins during AM and 25-35 during PM. I'd have 45 on Wed nites, until I deliberately pared that down so we could pray more. But the shorter the sermon, the more work you have to do to get your thoughts in order and shaped just exactly so. Most every preacher I know shares this view, as well as homiletics professors I know.
     
  6. TomVols

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    Well said, PastorSBC
     
  7. rbell

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    I like what SBC said as well...

    I spend 15-18 hours on my one sermon per week, but it is on Wednesdays. (I am a youth pastor).

    We will have 25-30% of our crowd on Wednesdays that are unsaved. Many are pagan in their outlook (up front with me that this "God stuff" is a crock, crutch, etc.). So, I have a challenge on my hands--feeding the Christians, while presenting the Good News to the lost.

    As we have grown (from 15 to about 160 on Wednesdays), I further realize the enormity of the task. My messages are very interactive, and I try to use all means of contact that I can to reach the kids. But the Biblical message is still central to what I do.

    I tend to be series-focused...sometimes chapter-by-chapter oriented (my Jonah series was based on the movie "Cast Away"); sometimes subject-oriented (I recently looked at Jesus' contrasts of "the law says," and "but I say," and I called that "What's the Big Deal?")

    When we go to separate but consecutive JH and SH Wed. events, I'll have some major revisions to do in my sermon planning...
     
  8. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    We keep the sermons for the church. We save evangelism for times other than the sermon. We would never turn anyone away from the doors (unless they are disruptive), but the church is for believers, not the lost. So, prep time is at a premium in order to present a sound, meat-filled message.

    One thing that I've discovered to be effective is that I simply teach. There are those who want to know more. They come to me after the service, at which point I present them the gospel of spiritual salvation. This takes no additional preparation, however, so it does make this part easy.

    Our youth group, though, is kind of interesting. I teach it, and the elders think that I need to tone it down to keep it on the level of the kids. However, I have already "toned it down" once to make the elders happy. The kids are complaining that they want more meat.
     
  9. jshurley04

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    Hope for Glory,

    Go with what the teens want when it comes to the meat of the Word. If they can handle it then give it to them. I've had and seen teens inwhich their level was comparable to the average adult or even a Bible College Grad. But remember the key to effective speaking when you put it on the top shelf, leave a step stool for those who are not there yet. I usually go through my lessons and find words or principles or phrases that I think might be above the average teen and work the definitions into my lesson/sermon so that the ones on the top shelf get what they need or confirm what they are familiar with. But it also begins to elevate the ones that need to learn how to get up to the top shelf.

    Personally, my prep time is the same for a Sunday morning and Sunday evening. My Wednesday nights will be less because I want the teens I am teaching to be a part of the learning process. I want them to feel that I am not as prepared as a Sunday am or pm and feel more comfortable interacting within the group. I am usually involved in a verse by verse study on Wednesdays and I make sure that my study includes key words and I always have some type of resource material with me, even if it is a good study Bible.
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    Brother Vaughn, after asking the loaded questions, I've looked for YOUR answer . . [​IMG] [​IMG]

    My answer is the nature of the beast. I preach longer and a more complete exposition to the largest audience on Sunday morning. It will take me TWICE as long in word-smithing for that message.

    Sunday night and Wednesday night are more textual and academic. Not the "pulpiteering" style! And Sunday School is often prepared like for a college course (about 40 hours prep for the entire course, done in advance) so is not a week-by-week thing for me personally.
     
  11. tinytim

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    Hope of Glory, I too agree to give the teens the meat.. especially the ones that have been in church all their lives... Teens today, don't want watered down stuff, they can get that anywhere, they want the reall thing!
     

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