“So what do you do for a living?”
I have a new answer to that question: “I write sermons.”
Occasionally, an alert listener will reply, “You only write sermons? Do you preach them?”
Then I give the punchline. “Sure, I do. But it’s hard to remember that part. As soon as the sermon is over, I have to start writing the next one!”
That’s the life of a pastor. We have the joyful burden of weekly preparation. To keep your head about water and become effective you have to learn to hack the process.
You need a system for Bible study and sermon preparation. Whatever system you choose should include these three elements.
You cannot be a faithful preacher if you are not willing to read. Reading is essential to sermon preparation. We are charged to preach the word (2 Tim. 4:2). How can you fulfill that charge without reading the word?
To understand a text, you must read it. And read it again. Then read it again. You must also consult reference books that will help you understand the meaning of the text. There is wisdom in a multitude of counselors. And the more you read, the more you glean from the wisdom of others to better understand the text.
It helps to read deeply and widely. If you can, don’t just read those with whom you already agree. Consult those who will stretch your thinking and force you to dig a little deeper.
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SOURCE: H.B. Charles, Jr. Blog