I’m working on a blog series for pastors on sermon writing. THe very first thing I need to mention is this…
Saturate your brain.
If you’re preparing for the ministry, if you’re in your last year of Seminary and getting ready to actually get a job, you have one priority now.
Saturate your brain.
Personally, my feelings is that a Pastor needs to mark off time in his calendar for study. He can even tell the congregation, “unless you want wimpy, powerless sermons, I need at least this much time a day for study.”
I’d make that three hours minimum. i’m hearing all the pastors laughing, because in reality, you’re often spending 54 hours a week in church business and maybe 2 hours a week in study. And that time is your sermon prep time.
Consider it this way. You set up appointments on your calendar. There’s the James family, they need counseling on this. There’s the Simths, they’re having problems with this. Tuesday at 10 AM.
If Jesus Christ were to call you on the phone and say, “I need to talk with you this week. i’t’s important”…
Would you tell him your schedule is full? “I’m sorry, Lord, but the Jameses have a financial problem and…”
Or would you say, “Yes Lord. I’ll reschedule someone.”
Your Bible study time is your appintment with Jesus Christ. If you explain it to your congregation this way, they’ll understand it.
Pastors are expected to have a large library. At the very least, your Ministry laptop should be crammed with Bible software and hundreds of commentaries, dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc. Either one of the Wordsearch preaching libraries or one of the Logos ones.
I know everyone’s big on the PC Bible study software, but alas… as I’ve stated before. with no demo, I can’t evaluate it.
You have to USE them. You have to take some time and READ all the books. There’s no use in owning a dozen commentaries if you don’t read them. If I was a full time pastor, I’d look at what options I have to put a calendar online so people could see I have appointments. The first block of the day would be locked off for “Pastor’s Study”.
Everything AFTER the study time, yes.
got a big church and lots of programs? Either streamline, or learn to delegate!
Set up a “three times a year” reading plan in Quickverse, Logos or Wordsearch.
Perhaps add in a Lectionary for general reading as well.
Read through your preaching calendar.
And use some of the preformatted reading plans in Logos. I had little use for “seven days on covenants”, but I read it anyway.
It takes me about 35 minutes to read through my Bible reading. Another few minutes for reading through the preformtted plans and any lectionary stuff I can fit in. I’m getting two hours a night of Bible and ministry reading and study. It’s not enough in my mind. A year ago, long periods of study would tire my brain out. Now I’m used to two hours. With practice, you can get it to three.
If you want to preach with power, with authority, only ong hours of study and lots of prayer will accomplish that,