I believe the Holy Spirit is God, the third member of the holy, undivided Trinity. Therefore, I believe the Holy Spirit is sovereign. God the Holy Spirit has unimpeachable authority over the times, details and circumstances of our lives. He (not “It”) operates with perfect wisdom, eternal purpose and infinite goodness. With this confidence, I plan my preaching in advance. Well in advance.
In the name of honoring the Holy Spirit, some inadvertently dishonor him by thinking and acting as if the Spirit’s work is someone quenched if he is not free to work spontaneously. They treat the Holy Spirit as some harried housewife, overwhelmed by a lazy husband, overactive kids, and dirty dishes and clothes, who gets everything done just in the nick of time. Barely. This is foolish thinking. The Holy Spirit of God can lead just as effectively a year in advance as he can days in advance.
What an encouragement developing a sermon calendar!
God knows if there is going to be some tragedy that needs to be addressed. God knows when there will be a death that rocks the congregation. God knows if a crisis will arise in the church that will need to be addressed. God knows what the individuals and families are going through in your congregation. God knows what you do not know!
The fact that God knows our story—individually and corporately—from beginning to end means we need not specialize in “Saturday night specials.” We do not have to start our studies at the end of the week. We do not have to spend more time each week deciding what to preach, rather than actually preparing our messages. We can and should plan our preaching in advance with confidence that God is at work in and through and beyond this process to ensure our congregations are shaped by the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Why develop a sermon calendar. There are several reasons why you should plan your preaching.
Getting on top of your schedule. I am a sinner who needs to constantly take heed of his life and doctrine. I am a husband of one wife. I am the father of three children. I am the pastor of an active, growing congregation. I travel to preach away from home at times. I am a human being, who needs food, sleep, exercise, recreation and fellowship, like everyone else.
I simply cannot afford to wait until Thursday afternoon to determine what I am going to preach Sunday morning. I need to be able to redeem the time in my sermon preparation. This can only happen when I replace the time I would be spending each week thinking about what to preach with time thinking about the text and the sermon.