Welcome to The On Preaching Podcast, the podcast dedicated to helping you to preach faithfully, clearly, and better.
Planning your preaching is wise time-management. It enables you to spend the time you have to prepare in actual preparation – not looking for what to work on. Planning your preaching is wise spiritual leadership. To shepherd your congregation well, you need to know where you are going. And planning your preaching is a personal growth tool that facilitates your ongoing growth as a preacher or teacher.
The best time to have started working on you 2024 preaching calendar was two months ago. The second best time is now. Get out a Bible and a calendar and get to work.
Here is some practical advice to help you prepare your 2024 preaching calendar.
Pray. God promises to give wisdom to those who ask him for it in faith (James 1:5-8). Claim this promise as you plan your preaching. Seek God for wisdom and guidance as you think about what you will teach your congregation and when.
Mark special days. Go through your 2024 calendar and mark the Sundays that are special days or emphases. Are they days when you are expected to speak on specific topics. Mark them down and begin to think about how you will approach the days.
Plan not to preach. Please do not plan to preach fifty-two Sundays. It is not not good or wise to try. You need spiritual, physical, and mental breaks. And, quite frankly, your congregation needs breaks. It is healthy for them to hear other voices. Plan ahead Sundays you will not preach.
Review past sermons. To know where you are going you need to know where you have already been. Review past sermons and examine the texts, themes, and topics you have preach on this past year. Where are the wholes in your preaching diet that you can fill in the new year?
Chart new territory. the Bible is a big book. There is a lot of ground to cover – a long ways to go and a short time to get there. Don’t just retrace your preaching steps, updating old message. Chart new territory and plan to tackle texts and books you have not yet preached.
Plan sermon series. If you have not done so before, take a shot at preaching through a book of the Bible from beginning to end. Or select an extended section of a book. Either way, plan preaching series that will cause you to spend time thinking through an author’s line of argument.
Consult wise counselors. Don’t plan your preaching alone. After you finish your first draft, share it with a few people you trust – elders, deacons, staff, members, or colleagues. Open yourself up to their feedback. Make note of their advice and take end prayerful edit your preaching plan.
What advice would you give about planning a preaching calendar for 2024?
Think texts, not topics. Think series, not sermons. – H.B. Charles Jr.