5 Different Ways to Prepare a Sermon: Pastors Share Their Secrets

It’s interesting how many different ways different pastors prepare their sermons. You may be someone who is trying to find a new way to do sermon prep or you may be someone who is trying to find just a way to do sermon prep.

Wherever you are in your experience in preaching, this article should be helpful to you. You’ll get to see five different pastors share what a week of sermon prep looks like for them.

Brandon Kelley

My method has changed fairly frequently. I’ve experimented with a few different things as I am always trying to learn a better way. What is below is what I have found works best out of the things I have tried. In every step, I approach this process in an attitude and posture of prayer. My biggest prayer is that God will push me to the side and that he would take over and simply use me as a tool to accomplish what he would like to do. That is my prayer in sermon prep as well as right before I go up to preach on Sunday.

  • Monday
    • Look at text
    • Begin seeking and praying
    • Let the text simmer—no research
  • Tuesday
    • Research
    • Compile notes in Evernote based on research
    • Begin thinking through potential illustrations
  • Wednesday
    • Determine bottom line—this could change before it’s all said and done
    • Use white board to compile outline of message pre-Scripture (before I get into the main text)
    • Write out full manuscript—using headings to be utilized when I boil down to notes to preach from
  • Thursday
    • Finish manuscript if need be
    • Boil down to what I will preach from—detailed outline
    • Go through sermon (as many times as I can afford to depending on other commitments in the day)
  • Friday
    • Tweak message if need be
    • Go through sermon (as time allows)
    • Send notes to tech team
    • Create slides (Scripture and bottom line—nothing fancy)
  • Saturday
    • Let everything simmer
    • Go through sermon one more time
  • Sunday
    • Preach!
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Brandon Kelley
Brandon Kelley serves at a fast-growing church plant in Batavia, Ohio (east side of Cincinnati) called The Crossing in the role of Outreach & Communications Pastor. He loves to learn and write about preaching and leadership.

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