Pastor Appreciation Month: Day #9
October is Pastor Appreciation Month.
Take time today to express to your pastor how much he means to you.
The Pastor and His Sermon Preparation
God is a God of order. The Scriptures tells us “Let all things be done decently and in order (I Corinthians 14:40).” Everything that is said or done in a worship service is important. However, it is the sermon, the preaching of the Word of God that is the most important part of the worship service. The pastor is fully aware of this; therefore, he must always take his sermon preparation very serious. The preacher who is Spirit driven, Spirit led, and Spirit dependent will also be Spirit empowered! Preaching is truly the Spirit's ministry. What the Holy Spirit illumines in the study, He will empower in the pulpit. True, we need to prepare for what we have studied, but Oswald Chambers said, “The thing to prepare is not the sermon, but the preacher.”
In preparing a message, I prescribe the following pattern:
As pastors we pray that each message must be birthed in, bathed in, and brought in prayer.
a) The Example of Jesus
If time alone with the Father was important to Jesus, it should be of the utmost importance to each of us as men of God. In meditating, Jesus would come apart from the crowd, and often even His disciples. The Lord needed this time to discern the voice of God in His every movement.
b) The Experience of Jesus.
In coming apart from the crowd Jesus would often be found praying to His heavenly father. In watching His movements, we find Him praying in the garden, on top of the mountain, He even spent 40 days in the wilderness fasting and praying to His Heavenly Father. If time alone with God was important to Him, we must ask ourselves if it is important to our lives. In meditating, we allow the voice of God to talk to us.
Listen to the Holy Spirit and He will lead you to what topic and text to preach and teach from.
Reading, Research from Concordances, Dictionaries, Commentaries, Take notes, and etc. I have had the privilege of sitting under great men as they taught me the Bible, and I have taken detailed notes from their teachings. I have many books in my library concerning how to prepare sermons and how to preach. Allow God to prepare you by soaking in the glory of His Word through diligent study of the Bible.
Many messages are like model cars. They come in hundreds of pieces with no instructions on how to put them together.
Every message must have three things:
a) The Introduction. This is the starting place. You must use this to get the minds of the people from where they are to where you want to preach to them.
b) The Ingredients. This is the statement proclaimed. This is what you want the message to say. These ingredients should be in a progressive manner, progressing toward the intended end. When you finish a message, it should have said something.
c) The Invitation. This is the stopping plan. The closing part of the message should lead right into the invitation service without any disrupting change of thought.
As preachers, we are quick to confess the need for the Spirit's power in our preaching, but we fall short when it comes to explaining how to involve the Holy Spirit in our preaching. This is a time in meditation and prayer where you allow the Holy Spirit to teach you what He wants to teach others through you. Many times, in this time, He will show you what He wants to do with the message. This is important time.
This is closely related to the last one, but there is a difference. This time is also a time of meditation and prayer, but this time you are asking God to anoint you, and saturate you with the Holy Spirit. You must ask God to give you the right Spirit to preach His message in. Many great messages are ruined because they are delivered in the wrong spirit. When we are filled with the Spirit, the Spirit controls us inwardly and we submit all of our desires, attitudes, and motivations to Him because we are walking according to the Spirit. His agenda for glorifying Christ becomes our agenda in preaching. We die to the flesh in order that we can live according to the Spirit. I believe this type of submission to the Spirit's control is the foundation for Spirit-led preaching.
The sermon is the finished product that the man of God takes to the pulpit to deliver to his people
a) His Passage. A sermon is not truly a sermon without having a Biblical foundation. It may be a good speech or moving message, but without the Scriptures it is no sermon.
b) His Preparation. The man thoroughly prepares himself and his message. A sermon will never reach its full potential with the appropriate time spent in preparation. In calling a man, God also called him to prepare.
c) His Process. The finished product of his passage and his preparation will be his presentation of a sermon, the finished product that he has gone through in conceiving a real sermon.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.