Prepare your own sermons or…

Pastors should prepare their own sermons or quit and get a different job. 

I get emails from websites and magazines inviting me to purchase their next life-changing sermon series. Included in the sermon series are an outline for each week, slides to use on the projector, and even cool and trendy advertisements for the bulletin, website, and newspaper. These emails and magazines that provide sermons for the busy pastor drive me crazy! What else is there to be busy with as a pastor if not with preparing a sermon and praying for the congregation? Seriously…

  1. If you can’t find a sermon in the entirety of the Bible, then you don’t need to be a pastor.
  2. If you don’t have a Word to share from your Bible, then you don’t need to be a pastor.
  3. If God’s Word has lost its excitement and its impact on your life, then you need a retreat or a sabbatical.

The call to pastor is to shepherd the flock, and Jesus instructed Peter to feed His sheep (1 Peter 5). I know this sounds harsh, but the call is real and so is the judgment of pastors (Hebrews 13).

The title pastor is synonymous with the title of elder. Elders must be able to teach. If you don’t aspire to be an elder, then you are not called to be a pastor. I understand that culture may have created all kinds of church jobs with the title pastor in them that don’t require any teaching or preaching. But, the title of pastor or elder has a Biblical context that you cannot ignore. Therefore, if you are a pastor and you don’t know how to study the Bible and preach a sermon or teach your congregation, then you need to immediately pursue help and equipping.

As you prepare, you should avoid regurgitating commentaries, don’t just re-word a few lines from a sermon you heard before. Instead spend time in prayer asking God for help in understanding His Word and how to apply it to the congregation.

I do recommend reading sermons and reading the thoughts of faithful men who preach the Word well. Just don’t copy their work, imitate their process and commitment to preaching instead. Aspire to be a faithful steward of the calling to preach the Word. Then do the work and spend time in your study and prayer. If your church thinks you should be doing something else, other than preparing to preach during the week; then start preaching sermons on the importance of preaching or the calling of a pastor to shepherd through the teaching of Scripture.

For help in your pursuit of preaching and teaching I recommend the following:

Books On How To Study The Bible:

40 Questions about Interpreting the Bible (40 Questions & Answers Series)Apr 22, 2010

by Robert L. Plummer

Hermeneutics: An IntroductionOct 9, 2009

by Anthony C. Thiselton

Hermeneutics, Authority, and Canon: Mar 9, 2005

by D. A. Carson and John Woodbridge

A Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible: Playing by the RulesJun 1, 2011

by Robert H. Stein

Books On Preaching: 

Expositional Preaching: How We Speak God’s Word Today (9Marks: Building Healthy Churches)Apr 30, 2014

by David R. Helm

Power in the Pulpit: How to Prepare and Deliver Expository Sermons (Electives Series)Jun 10, 1999

by Jerry Vines and James L. Shaddix

Between Two Worlds: The Challenge of Preaching TodayMay 18, 1982

by John Stott

The Supremacy of God in PreachingFeb 3, 2015

by John Piper

The Priority of Preaching (Proclamation Trust)Jul 20, 2009

by Christopher Ash

Preaching and PreachersJan 28, 2012 | Deluxe Edition

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones and Bryan Chapell

Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository SermonMar 1, 2005

by Bryan Chapell

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