When it comes to basic matters related to the ministry, I am not a procrastinator. It’s more natural for me to be ahead of time rather than late. So when a pastor asked me for advice on overcoming procrastination, I was somewhat at a loss as to what to say.
Trying to get a better handle on where he was coming from, I asked if he could be more specific. On what aspects of his work was he usually behind? His answer was that it was his sermon preparation.
Now, I procrastinate when it comes to things like filling out my income-tax forms. Sometimes I procrastinate in regard to completing projects around the house. But I had a hard time identifying with this person’s problem of procrastination as it relates to sermon preparation.
Then my wife reminded me about my early years as a pastor, and my all-too-many late-Saturday-night sessions. That was pure agony with me asking myself repeatedly, What is it I’m really trying to say? All too often I didn’t know the answer by Sunday morning service time.
Each of those session was like an exquisitely painful torture! So what changed things? It was coming up with the idea of early on in the sermon-preparation process figuring out two things:
- What’s my sermon’s “Subject”?
- What’s the “Response” I’m calling for?
If early in the week I knew exactly where I was headed with these two elements of the sermon, I had a great jump start on everything else. I could then usually figure out how to help people with the “How-Tos,” or suggestions for putting into practice the given desired response.
Anyway, that was a turning point in my ministry. And, it eventually made it possible for me to handle the rigorous schedule of six radio broadcasts a week plus the five half-hour television programs I was doing weekly, as well.
Please click here to visit David Mains’ Sermon-Coach.com website.
You will also find a variety of resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries website. Please click here.