A Great Sermon Isn’t An Accident

By July 13, 2015Pastor Tom

Sermon prep is something I have been doing for over 30 years.  When comparing notes with other preachers some of us are similar, and yet others of us are quite different.


In my earlier years I was more focused on making sure I did not look bad.  My personal insecurity was a driving force and controlled my presentation.  It was also something that God used for my good.


In my insecurity I was also deeply dependent upon God to show up.  During those years I was also focused more on praying for myself than praying for my audience.


These days I am focused on my audience and their needs and less of my own.  I also have lost the fear of being embarrassed or afraid to fall on my face.


I preach often. About 48 weekends a year. Again, in my early years I preached over 100 times a year.


At this point in my journey I have learned that it is not about me, and allowing others to contribute only makes us a better church and me a better leader.


I preach from a yearly calendar.  It is flexible and can be changed if the Holy Spirit is leading a different direction.  I begin the calendar with topics that I know are important to our church and then add the holidays.  This fills in nearly 10 weekends.


From there I take a look at the church and the current areas where we need change, teaching, or training.  This is the formula that creates the planning and the outcome for the coming year.


Creating the Content


I write my sermons the week I preach them and most always on Friday and Saturday before the Sunday.  I begin my meditation on Monday morning and often make notes all week in my prayer times, drive times, and other places.  I then add the scriptures.  I normally read every scripture in the whole bible on the topic I am studying.   My final step is adding the personal illustrations.


Prayer is the factor that brings it all together. Praying adds the transitions and saturates me with God’s presence.  This is where I pick up a sense of His leading and even His passions.


I have always spent time praying each morning and I am convinced the power of preaching begins in the prayer chamber!    



I am actually consumed with my message most of the week.  I average about 5-8 hours on most sermons.  That is actually half of the time it was only 10 years ago.  I used to invest about 13-16 hours a week.


Those days I was consumed with the message.  These days I am convinced with the man being ready to deliver it.


I have learned you must trust the anointing.


A few years ago I was guilty of trusting in my studies but now I trust in my teacher.


I now prepare the man for the message rather than the message for the man.


Would love to hear from you.


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About Tom McDaniels

Pastor Tom has a unique gift of starting churches without a team or a staff. His strategy was simply to begin a weekly Bible study and allow the church to grow through word of mouth. He has a vision to plant or cover 12 churches and network them to advance the Kingdom of God.

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