I’ve read many books on the subject of preaching but very few are written on the subject of planning what we preach each week. Even as more and more bi-vocational pastors enter into church leadership, the idea of putting together tools for the preacher to outline his speaking months or even a year ahead of time are quite sparse.
With this in mind, I plan to spend the next few posts sharing with you my method for staying ahead of the game and planning my preaching an entire year in advance. Now, some might ask how I do this or is it even spiritual? The answer to the latter question is most definitely yes! God can speak to you as you prepare your preaching calendar for the coming year. There is nothing spiritually superior to planning week to week. In fact, you can stunt your preaching significantly by “winging it” each week. Planning your preaching in advance has several advantages that we will discuss in this series but for now, here’s a few…
I. You will preach on a wider variety of topics in the course of the year.
This is a great benefit for me. Every one of us is passionate about certain parts of the Christian life. For a preacher, it’s natural to focus more in those areas because we are excited about them and their benefit to the body of Christ. But consider others in your congregation each week. Perhaps there are other things they need to hear about that you haven’t covered in a long time. Maybe the church would benefit from a refresher course on the spiritual disciplines? Whatever it may be, planning your preaching in advance gives you the opportunity to be deliberate in planning and preparing for topics and areas of the bible that you wouldn’t normally cover.
II. It helps to plan your down time.
Let’s face it, we all need to rest right? Well, by planning your preaching, you’ll schedule your time off in your preaching calendar and you’ll have plenty of time to secure a guest speaker for the weeks you will not be speaking. This pays a double benefit as the guest speaker gets plenty of time to prepare and will be impressed by your professionalism.
III. You can give extra time to planning “big” days at your church.
Are you planning a big series for Easter? Maybe a series for back to school? Planning in advance gives you the opportunity to coordinate worship music, plan a flyer handout for your church family, or secure prizes for a outreach service. The possibilities are endless.
That’s enough for now. In my next post, I’ll begin laying out the process I use each year to plan for the next. I’m currently in the middle of the process now and you can get started too with a little advance planning.
I’ll see you next week!