Friday is usually a prep day for Sunday. First I needed to sort out the service boxes and runsheets for each location and then I could give my full attention to the message for this week.
I am convinced that every preacher has their own peculiar way of preparing a message. Once you find that rhythm it’s difficult to change and I don’t think it should be either, unless God helps create a new one.
I pray for a hook, a thought, a question to answer, a verse. Just something that will become the one thing I want to leave with those who are listening. Not sure if this is right but it works for me. From there I can dig a little, take as much time as is needed to understand the verse, and allow God to lead me in my thinking as I meditate on it. Sometimes this is with a blank piece of paper and writing what I feel God is saying, other times it involves commentaries and following where that first thought may go.
This week we begin a new series as we head towards Easter. It’s called ‘Love Ran Red’. So my question is this ‘What happened at the cross when love ran red?’ This opens up lots of thoughts but I got 3 words quite quickly which meant I could move away from the books and mull them over for a while.
I always take a break during prep. I cannot sit at the desk for hours on end. Go get a coffee, go for a walk, or for a drive. This space gives me a chance to talk it through. It may look like I am talking to myself but I’m just dialoguing with God. Is it right? Does it make sense? What do you want me to say God?
Once the message is together, all it needs is writing up. Then I just keep praying about it over the weekend. Asking God to speak through me. Asking for the extra that only God can bring. After all, it’s more important that I am sharing what God wants to say, not just what I want to. That can be difficult to know until you are up on the platform sometimes. I remember hearing a preacher say that you should always be about 80% ready, as this means you have to rely on God for the other 20%. Sometimes it feels more like the other way round.
Looking forward to being with our Darlington congregation on Sunday – maybe I’ll see you there.
Add to the mix today we had a birthday in the family. My beautiful wife was another year older. We enjoyed a very early start to open presents for Kerina before the girls left for school, college and Uni. Then she went back to sleep as she wasn’t feeling great.
If you are preacher, what’s your preparation routine? I would love to learn from the collective wisdom of those who read this blog. Thanks