When Saturday’s Overwhelming for a Preacher

I’ve been there. It’s Saturday, and you still have much to do to get ready for Sunday – including, sometimes, getting a sermon ready. If you’re a preacher or teacher, here are some steps that help me in those situations. If you’re a layperson, take some time to pray for your pastors today as you read this post.

  1. Be honest about how you got here this week. In some cases, our laziness or poor time management during the week brings us here. In many other cases, though, ministry just consumed more time this past week. Confess if you need to do so, and then press on.
  2. Be sure to pray today. It’s easy to get focused on getting your work done on Saturday and fail to take time to pray. Make sure that doesn’t happen.
  3. Be honest with your family. My experience is that our spouse and our family understand when things get backed up and we need time to focus on the tasks at hand. What they don’t understand is when we disappear into our study room without explanation.
  4. Don’t over-spiritualize your responses. Saying, “The Lord knows I didn’t have time to prepare, so I’m trusting the Spirit to work tomorrow” simply doesn’t work, in my judgment. Work hard today in the Spirit’s power AND trust Him to work tomorrow.
  5. Don’t skimp in your sermon preparation. Sure, you don’t have much time to get ready now, but you do have some time. Use it wisely—dig into the Word as much as you can. The Lord will honor your commitment to the task even if the study time is short.
  6. Avoid running to the Internet for a solution. You can find all kinds of sermons online, and you can fix this problem quickly by using somebody else’s material. You might, though, be creating a bigger problem by using somebody else’s stuff.
  7. Use your short segments of time to review your sermon. Several 10-minute segments focused on knowing your sermon will pay off tomorrow. Focus. Review. Practice. Pray. Then start the process over again.
  8. Honesty and humbly give God whatever you have to offer Him. It may not be the best you could ever give, but let your sermon be the best you can give in the current circumstances. Maximize whatever time you have for preparation.

Pastors, what’s helped you when Saturday is overwhelming? 

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