WHEN do you know for sure what your sermon will be about on Sunday?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by dianetavegia, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
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    Our previous pastor used to laughingly say, 'The bulletin says I'm preaching on XYZ but while I was shaving, the Lord put it on my heart to preach on PQR'.

    Our communicator that gets mailed out every two weeks has the titles and verses for sermons for Sun. morning, nights and Wed. nights for a month in advance. That has troubled me.

    Pastors, can you share your thoughts on this?
     
  2. Pastor J

    Pastor J
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    It depends. When I am preaching through a series, I usually have developed the entire series prior to starting it. I then fine tune it the week I am going to preach it. Sunday Morning messages are usually developed the week prior. With all that, there have been a number of times where, like your pastor, I was expecting to preach one message and when I got up on Sunday morning, the Lord led me to preach a different message that I had been working on.
     
  3. BroTom64

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    I could almost say I only know for sure what I will preach about when the service is over!

    I could say I make sure to preach Jesus and him crucified every time I step into the pulpit. I somehow don't feel that I have truly "preached" if Jesus Christ is not prominantly featured in the message.
    Like Pastor J, I do preach series most usually through whole books on Sunday Evenings so I have a good idea what passage I will preach on a given date. This is always subject to change.

    Tom
     
  4. dclark14

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    If I am preaching through a book as a series, which I usually do, I am then certain that the Lord has called me to the book, not just part of it.I set aside Wednesday for discovering the basic outline and proceed from there during the rest of the week. By the time Friday arrives, I am dedicated to teach what the Lord has led me in to this point. Am I open to change at the last minute? Certainly- but it has not been my experience up to now.
     
  5. PastorSBC1303

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    Can't the Holy Spirit inspire and lead your pastor ahead of time and not just the week leading up to the actual preaching of a message?

    I know many faithful pastors who plan and prepare months ahead of time for sermons. Generally they stay on schedule as they feel the Lord is leading them. However when the Lord decides to change things up, then they change with the direction of the Lord.

    I do not think there is one certain way for a pastor to prepare and to know when the sermon is going to be ready. For example, a lot of times I will know topics and passages for my sermons months in advance, yet the week I am getting ready to preach I may feel led to change it up. You just have to be faithful to study, prepare and be ready to follow the direction of the Lord.
     
  6. David Ekstrom

    David Ekstrom
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    I plan my sermons months in advance, but I always say that the schedule is tentative. I hardly ever deviate from my plan but I think that people should leave the pastor free to change. If once in a blue moon, the bulletin announcement doesn't match the sermon, what's the harm? 90% of the time it will and the people will benefit from the times that it does. They will also benefit from being flexible enough to realize that, now and then, the pastor may want to modify his long range plan. Why change?
    A series might "lay an egg" and you might want to bail out.
    When you do your detail exegesis, you might realize that your original superficial assessment of the text was way off and your sermon might be quite different than what the schedule stated.
    A special occassion may arise and you may want to take a break from the series and address it.
    If you take ill, the series will be interrupted. Do you skip or do you push your schedule back?
     
  7. blackbird

    blackbird
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    Right now I'm preaching a simple series on what I call "Basic Baptist Bible Doctrine"----I'm getting tired of folks shootin' off that Baptists "don't know what they believe"----I just simply look over the Baptist Faith and Message 2000---all of the general headings---for starters. Then I selected some of the Bible terms found throughout the Bible content----ex.---the Doctrine of Salvation---the Doctrine of Sanctification---the Doctrine of Justification--the Doctrine of Last Things---so forth and so on--

    and

    Develop all of this into a basic ongoing sermon series---my aim being---when we're through---my group of Southern Baptists will be able to "know beyond a shadow of a doubt" what they believe----and can aim and hit the Bible target everytime!!!!

    Time to time---in an ongoing series---through a Bible book or Bible subject----the series may be seperated with special topics---such as

    Deacon election is coming up in July----so today I have developed a sermon on the subject---Deacon's----spooky, ain't it?????!!!! Text is 1Timothy 3: 8-13

    Simple outline

    THE DEACON AND HIS PERSONAL LIFE


    THE DEACON AND HIS SPIRITUAL LIFE


    With an call for deacon's to surrender themselves constantly to obedience to the above scripture

    and a call for the average church member---who will be electing the deacons in July----lots of people say

    "Well! I want to know the will of God before I vote!!!"

    Well----the will of God concerning deacons is layed out before them in 1Timothy 3: 8-13 and to vote for a man who is not lined up with the verses that God is deadly serious about---is to vote outside of the will of God---and to vote outside of the will of God is a sin! Better not to have a deacon at all than to have one who does not line up with the truth of Scripture!!! Amen???

    So there you have it, Diane!! Have a good day!

    Your Southern Baptist preaching buddy!

    Bro. David
     
  8. Hardsheller

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    Diane,

    I preach through Books of the Bible. That way the Congregation always knows where I'm going and can be studying along. They can even go to the Christian Book Store and buy books on the subject. I did preach through Purpose Driven Life last year and that was one of the most rewarding series our church has been through.

    I have been preaching through The Revelation since Feb. Pretty simple process. One Chapter per Week. I teach an Adult Class in SS - I teach the same Chapter I'm going to preach that Sunday.

    Then on the following Wednesday during the School year I teach the same Chapter I taught in SS.

    I pause for special Sundays - like Easter, Mom's Day, and Dad's Day. Yesterday on July 3, I preached on Rev 12 - Always plenty of fireworks when you're preaching on a passage about the Devil.
     
  9. Humblesmith

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    I remember a story that Chuck Swindoll told, where he was scheduled to preach a sermon, and his schedule was busy enough that he didn't prepare a sermon well in advance, like he usually did. So on the morning of the sermon, he prayed and asked God "Lord, please give me a word."
    Several times during the morning, and during the songs, and the prayer, he prayed "Lord, give me a word." According to Swindoll, the Lord finally gave him a message just before he spoke. The message was "You're lazy." Ever since then, he managed to spend the time preparing a message like he should.
     
  10. TexasSky

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    Do you Pastors ever feel that the modern organizational structure of worship services makes responding to what God wants this minute vs what was planned difficult?

    I know our schedule on music is set up, literally, months in advance, and if the Pastor feels we need to change the focus of a service, we do, but I hear whining from the people who do the Power Points and the people who do the music, and the people who live by the bulletins.
     
  11. RandR

    RandR
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    I think there should be a balance. Something between a :57 minute service timed to the exact minute and a disorganized frenzy. Lots of wiggle room, but also room for contextualization.

    As far as the originial topic, I preach through books, one pericope at a time. I generally have the titles and references planned two to four months in advance. As to the individual sermons...sometimes I have outline done by Wed. and manuscript finished by Friday. Other weeks, might be Saturday until both are ready.

    Twice a year I take a break and do a topical study, usually something timely (did an Olympic theme in 2004) or (shudder) felt-needs based. Other than the larger theme, I don't find that I plan those out as far in advance.

    Oh...and when I hear, "This morning I felt led to change the sermon to _______," I tend to think the original wasn't ready so he pulled one from the file. I guess I'm just cynical like that.
     
  12. USN2Pulpit

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    When I've changed the sermon topic from what was planned in advance, I generally don't make the statement, "I felt lead..."

    I just preach what I feel lead to preach, without referencing myself by saying I felt led.
     
  13. PastorSBC1303

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    I think the same thing when I hear it. That is why I usually do like USN, and just preach what i have and I do not preface it with any comments to try and justify it.
     
  14. dianetavegia

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    Well, I really dislike 'books' sermons or 'topic' sermons and prefer a 'led by the Holy Spirit' sermon.

    Our youth minister preached this past Sunday and it was VERY good. Hit the spot! I'm sure there were some toes stepped on but PTL!
     
  15. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    Any sermon that is not led by the Holy Spirit is going to fall on its face. Just because a pastor is preaching through a book does not mean it is not led by the Holy Spirit.
     
  16. robertkyxiota

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    DEFINATLY.

    I served under a guy who I'd regularly ask in the morning "Hey what are you going to preach about?" and many times his answer would be "I'm not quite sure, God hasn't told me yet... but I know he'll tell me before I have to do it." That man definatly taught me a lot about faith, becuase I know I'd be freakin out in that situation.
     
  17. Mexdeaf

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    As a missionary, I plan ahead but like one brother said, I usually know what I am going to preach after the service is over. I also allow my folks to raise their hands and ask questions, but this is usually only done on Wednesday nights and rarely on Sunday nights. Sunday morning is usually my topical sermon, Sunday night is expositional, and Wednesday night is book by book Bible study, although we have been in the Psalms for about 15 months now.
     
  18. bridgeway

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    Diane,

    I don't know if this will edify or add anything to this thread, but I usually work on a sermon all week and preach it on Sunday morning. Some sermons, I will work on weeks in advance, and they just sit there in their various developing stages until the Sunday that their time comes rolling in. It is usually a research issue with me, but I think I am generally slower than most--meaning I am just plain slow.

    I go pericope, or paragraph, or sentence to the next ones, from the beginning of a book. I just keep on going until that thing is done, so this really dictates in a big way, what I do.

    Our people love it, and I am not saying that this is the way everyone should do it or anything like that.

    I did start a kinda odd break off in a book some months ago, but I don't usually do that.

    I really commend all my wonderful brothers who can preach a sermon at the last minute. I envy that gift.

    I really do believe the Holy Spirit works in both kinds (pre-planned, and also extemporary).

    Blessings to you in Christ,
    KKinchen
     
  19. shannonL

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    I was taught to preach books of the Bible. All you preachers must admit this is not the easiest thing coming straight out of Bible College. It takes awhile to get a handle on how to do that. Yet, I believe in the long run you will have a better, biblically trained congregation.
    Books and series tend to feed the sheep alot better diet than topical sermons.
    Yet, I have been working on a sermon for a later date and have it going on in my head while getting ready to preach the one I've fully developed. I've actually been sitting there ready to step up to the podium debating ,praying, arguing with the Lord about which one to preach.

    Have you ever had a sermon prepared and felt like you would be going against everything in your heart if you didn't preach on somethingelse. I have. I've had a outline sitting there right in front of me and wound up preaching without a note on something that God just filled me up with that week during my devotions or whatever. God the Holy Spirit can work through preparation as well as off the cuff. No matter which way I like what ole Johnny Hunt said one time

    "Your presentation will only be as good as your preparation" Now I don't always believe that means "how many different texts and commentaries you've labored over as much as it means are you living in such a way that God can fill you with His Spirit and His Word to the point that you feel like your going to bust until you step into that pulpit.
     

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