Someone said for each minute you spend behind the pulpit, spend one hour in preparation. One of the top responsibilities of a Pastor is to faithfully preach the whole counsel of God’s word, carefully explaining the meaning of the text and applying it to the lives of those under his care. As Pastors, we should treat the task of preaching as a sacred responsibility and give our best to prepare and preach a sermon. Given below are few benefits of prior preparation.
1. Compliments Intellectual Preparation
A passionate Preacher will always seek to bring out the flavor in God’s word. He does this by researching his text using reference materials such as Commentaries, Dictionaries etc. He has to find strong illustrations to support his point. May be throw in a few media clips to get the message through. A good sermon also takes hours of studying God’s word in order to draw life applications from it. All these take hours of preparation.
2. Compliments Spiritual Preparation
Someone said “without man God will not and without God man cannot.” As much as intellectual preparation is important we cannot deliver a good sermon unless we are spiritually prepared. There are many things such as the felt need of the congregation which only the Spirit of God can reveal to us. Such preparation usually involves being on our knees. It brings discernment and the anointing of the Spirit. This also takes time because we cannot rush the work of the Holy Spirit.
3. Helps prevent Unexpected Surprises
I have seen unprepared Pastors make careless statements from the pulpit only to regret later. There are many things which could go wrong when preaching a sermon. A wrong scripture reference, an irrelevant illustration to name a few. Such mistakes can distract, dilute the message or even makes the congregation cold and unresponsive. We cannot rule out mistakes completely. But prior preparation can minimize the risk.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” We can tell the same about preaching.