As mentioned above, I start the morning by eating plenty and hydrating while I look over my notes with fresh eyes. I eat whatever I want to within reason. Gone are the days when I would drive through Jack in the Box for tacos as my breakfast. Now, I go to a sleepy little dive of a breakfast place and eat some eggs, have some juice, begin drinking lots of water, some coffee, and make sure I have plenty of B vitamins in me. Eating early makes sure any food coma has passed by the time I preach. It also allows me to look forward to the morning knowing I get to begin this way. Guys who set their alarm clocks for an hour before church starts are crazy and miss what can be a thoroughly enjoyable part of the Sunday morning experience.
5. Don’t Preach 52 Sundays a Year.
Please don’t. If you do, your church is probably bored with you anyways. For a church with one service, I would recommend 48 Sundays a year max—and 46-47 is even better. Drop that number two weeks for every additional service beyond one. It will preserve your creativity, your voice and your adrenal glands. Right now, some are going, “That’s what we pay him for!” or thinking your elders will never let you do it. Maybe not. But you should try to persuade them. You should also assure them someone at least 80 percent as good as you in the pulpit will replace you. For most of us, it isn’t hard to find someone 120 percent as good as us with a little effort. If you preach 52 Sundays a year without significant time off between the Sundays, you are in a sprint, my friend. You will run out of gas—especially if you prepare more than one message per week and probably if you only prepare one weekly message.
What do you do to prepare for Sundays? What good preparation habits do you recognize in your preacher?