Don’t Be a Preparation Sluggard!
Proverbs 26:16 – “A sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven people who answer discreetly.”
Preacher, I read this recently and thought about sermon preparation. I believe wholeheartedly in using the God-given imagination you have. I believe fully in allowing the Spirit to speak to your soul as you deal with the truths of the Scripture you are preparing to preach and how it needs to be applied to the people you lead. I believe that much of sermon preparation is listening to the Spirit – individually – and crafting the sermon according to what He is leading you toward.
Yes, yes, and yes.
If we aren’t careful, we can become lazy and miss incredible insight that would benefit both us and our congregations. If we are honest, it is much easier – and makes the sermon preparation period less messy – if we avoid getting others’ opinions. Not reading a commentary or not calling a preacher friend or not talking it out with a staff member or not calling a church member and getting a perspective is easier…but it’s also lazy.
And it prevents us from making the sermon deeper and more effective.
Listen to what and how the Spirit is leading YOU – but don’t be wise in your own eyes. I am sure you are a great preacher, but your people need more than just YOUR thoughts on the matter. And by God’s good grace to us, we have at our fingertips the availability to read and/or listen to and/or ask a host of very wise and seasoned people their thoughts on a text and how it might apply to a situation.
Who do you get help from in your preparation? What commentaries are most beneficial to you? Do you have a preacher friend, or a group of preacher friends who will help you with your ideas?
Sure it takes a little extra work. But I promise the effort will pay off immense dividends.