Finding Time to Prepare a Sermon

Pastors are more than preachers.

You’re counselors and leaders, sometimes accountants and cleaners. There is more than reading on the agenda.

Yet the many duties of ministry often keep you from devoting time to your most important, or at least the most visible, element of your church…the weekly sermon.

Too many times, urgent tasks that take over the calendar keep us away from the important work of preparing the message God has laid on our hearts.

Whether your church has small groups, Sunday School or missional communities, chances are you have a set time for Bible teaching. Whether your service includes a band, praise team or choir, chances are, you set aside around 30 minutes to teach the Bible. As a Senior Pastor, whether you lead a large staff, do marriage counselor or track the finances, you’re primarily responsible to deliver a good sermon.

Though we do more than communicate, we must prioritize preparation if we want to effectively teach our people God’s Word. The sermon is too important, and too visible.

Chances are, you know working on your messages and developing your skills as a communicator is important. Nothing will happen – nothing will improve – without determination and resolve on your part.

There’s no substitute for prayer, study and preparation. And those things take time.


1. Block off a sermon prep day. If one full day doesn’t work for you, block off two half days. If two half days isn’t possible, start with one hour a day.

2. Communicate your priorities to your team and ask them to help you. Things will come up, so you need to communicate how non-negotiable your prep time is. Don’t expect everyone to immediately understand, but if you are consistent, other people will come to guard your time as much as you do.

3. Try a different environment. If you’re easily interrupted in your office or easily drawn into a conversation at the coffee shop, look for a different place. A half day in a new environment (try your local library) might help.

Here are some Twitter tips from @PreachingRocket Followers

  • I write early in the mornings. Hard to get distracted then. Get intentional about it. – @joshuabingle
  • Turn your iPhone off! Makes a big difference! – @justincarner
  • Intentional, blocked off times. Plus being ahead really helps. – @bobywilliams
  • Early mornings, late nights and I try to commit a small part of each day to prep – @pierrequinn