5 Ways I Prepare to Preach

People often ask how I prepare to preach on Sunday mornings. Ultimately, it’s all about Jesus, but I realize I have a responsibility as a shepherd to do all I can to be prepared. Ideally I try to be completely finished with my sermon Friday, so I can take Saturday off. Sometimes I’ll spend an hour or so on Saturday doing one final edit. I try to limit my activities and get a good night’s rest Saturday night. I almost never work on my message on Sunday morning.

I do, however, have some Sunday morning routines, which help me best prepare.

Here are 5 ways I prepare best on Sunday mornings:

Read something in the Bible other than the passage I’m preaching on – I want to feed myself before I try to teach others. I usually am reading through the Bible and I continue this on Sunday mornings.

Pray – I spend longer than other mornings in prayer on Sunday mornings. It prepares my heart. I pray for those who will be in attendance and those who may still be debating attending. I pray for God’s presence to be with us. I pray for other leaders in the church. I seek a sense of oneness with God’s heart to mine.

Exercise – I don’t get to every Sunday, but when I do get to exercise, I am more mentally alert and physically prepared than when I don’t.

Worship – Ideally, I love to put the Sunday morning line up of worship music in a playlist and allow the music to lead me in worship. Either way, I find a time to worship on Sunday mornings. When I’ve made much of God before I get to church, I find I’m better able to make much of Him.

Pray – Just before I preach I have a fairly standard prayer. It goes something like this, “God, I can’t do this. You know I’m not worthy to speak on Your behalf. You know and I know that it’s only by Your grace I can be here this morning. If You don’t show up, today will be meaningless.”

That’s how I prepare on Sundays.

How do you do it, pastor? 


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6 thoughts on “5 Ways I Prepare to Preach

  1. Though I am not a pastor, I believe all successful pastors wait at the feet of the Lord (could be through prayer, meditation, silent/quiet time, etc) to deliver the message on Sunday mornings. Delivering a sermon is not like some public speaking or lecturing. It should prick and touch the hearts of the listeners. Unless the Holy Spirit is going to anoint the preacher, it is not possible to reach the hearts of listeners.

  2. 1. I pray and do a quick read through of the message almost first thing in the morning before I leave my house.

    2. Once I get to the worship space, I spend about another hour in prayer and review.

    3. During that prayer time at the church I usually listen to my iPod, lay hands on every seat, and pray for God's power to be in the place. Sometimes I'm listening to Gospel (Israel and New Breed or Fred Hammond). Other times I listen to modern worship (Ascend the Hill, Matt Redman, etc)

    4. Once worship starts I disconnect from everything and do a "brain dump". I check Facebook, listen to The Beatles, and read blogs or the news. I do this to avoid over preparing and to resist the temptation to add unnecessarily to the message.

    5. I usually join the congregation during the middle of worship and pray for good soil.

    6. After the last song I come up and God speaks through a donkey.