It’s the middle of the week, but I trust you’re preparing to preach in several days. Apart from the hard work of textual exegesis and sermon preparation, here are some other ways we who preach the Word should get ready for this work:
- Deal with any ongoing sins of commission. If you have ongoing disobedience in your life, confess them and seek God’s forgiveness before you stand before His people again.
- Deal with ongoing sins of omission. In some ways, this need might be even greater than #1 above, as I trust most preachers are addressing sins of commission. Wherever you know to do good but aren’t, confess that sin, too, in preparation for preaching.
- Meditate on having the gift of access to God’s Word. Most of us who live in North America have access to the Scriptures in our language and in our hands, and we have the privilege of proclaiming it without much threat. That’s a gift worth meditating on and thanking God for.
- Meditate on God’s calling on your life before He ever formed you. That’s the way He described His calling of Jeremiah (Jer 1:4-5)—and it’s amazing to think He’s called any of us to proclaim His Word. Be sure to think about this precious calling as you prepare for this weekend.
- Have breakfast or lunch with a church member this week. This preparation idea might seem strange, but here’s my point: we will do better at sermon application when we keep our feet in the real world. Spend some time this week with someone who will be listening to your message.
- Give God a blank check before you prepare the sermon. You won’t be fully ready to preach the message until you’ve invited the Spirit of God to convict you through the Word. That means being willing to respond however God demands, regardless of the cost.
- Share your sermon text, topic, and main point with your spouse, who can join you in praying for the message. It’s always good to know that those who know us best and love us most have our back in prayer. So, invite your spouse into this process.
- Strive to finish your sermon early enough to have time to pray over it, digest it, and adjust your own life to its teaching. It’s not always easy to meet that deadline—there’s always the possibility of ministry responsibilities adjusting your plans—but at least aim for it.
On Friday of this week, I will be posting a follow-up to evaluate your sermon for this week. May God help all of us prepare well in the meantime!