It is Saturday morning and I am drinking coffee and reviewing this weeks sermon. Over the years I have written hundreds of sermons. Some of them will never be preached. Some of them were boring enough to put an insomniac to sleep. A few of them have changed me for the better.
I have met a couple of preachers that claim it takes only an hour or two to write a sermon. How is that possible? Before using internet to study it would take me ten to fifteen hours to draft a twenty minute message. Now, using the internet as a research tool, it takes me ten to fifteen hours to draft a twenty minute sermon. Difference is now I see about 3,000 ads popup, read the same material rehashed in dozens of ways, and have been exposed to some strange theology. Wish I hadn’t gotten rid of so many books!
I know some pastors subscribe to forums that present ready made sermon material. If that works for you and your church congregation then that’s wonderful. There is an appeal to buying ready made meals. However, some of us need the work it takes to prepare a message for our own spiritual well-being.
Anyway, the struggle lately has been how to present some hard truths in Romans as a digestible meal. By the way, if you think Romans is “basic” you need to actually study the book for yourself. Preaching through Romans has proven to be one of the tougher tasks I have taken on. Romans has challenged and convicted me weekly.
If by chance your pastor doesn’t deliver “the best message” give them a break. He (she) probably already knows it. Preachers don’t need criticism or false approval. Pray for them. Maybe sometime, not on Sunday morning, share some ways they help you receive the message presented. For instance, many have told me they like when I weave a personal story into the sermon. Others have said how the illustrations help them understand the context. It is the congregation that teaches the preacher how to deliver a message.
Gotta get back to work here. You have a wonderful day!
Rev. Burt Schwab