I was just looking over the sermons I preached in the last year. Usually as a lay preacher I would do 5-6 sermons in a year. In 2016 I preached 19! This is because I did a four month placement at a local church.
Preaching as a lay preacher on a roster is a great thing to do. You get plenty of time to think about your message, plenty of time to research it and plenty of time to write it. You can get it “just right”.
Preaching as a Pastor each week means you have a lot less time to prepare and you don’t always feel like it is “just right”. I usually take about 8-10 hours to prepare a message each week. This includes the PowerPoint too. Compared to maybe 30-40 hours as lay preacher.
One great thing about preaching as a Pastor is you can preach in a series. This is something I have always wanted to do as I have really enjoyed it when my Pastors did it at the churches I have attended.
So far I have done two series’ since I have been Pastor. The first was a six week series on being a living sacrifice. This was based on Romans 12. The second was Great Words of the Gospel and included five messages on aspects of our salvation. Both were received well by the church.
I have found that I just pray and ask God what He wants me to say to His church. For my first series He said do an overview of Romans 12 and call it being a living sacrifice. Then He said preach a more in-depth message on each point which I did over the following weeks.
I find that if I ask God what He wants me to say on Monday morning I usually get an idea and an outline from Him that day. And as the week progresses I do the Bible study and the writing. For me that works best as the pulpit belongs to Him.
So what about 2017? In country towns like Bruce Rock a lot of people go away in January, so I have prayerfully decided not to do another series until mid February. I want to wait until everyone is back and we can journey together.
Anyway, I really enjoyed preaching as a Pastor in the second half of 2016 and I am really looking forward to 2017. I know God has great things in store for us as a church and I can’t wait to see what topics He has in store for us each week.