Making Last-Minute Sermon Prep Awesome

It’s 6:10 p.m. I have 20 minutes to finish my weekly sermon for a service that begins at 7 p.m. My sermon includes a bit about ancient culture, a few major points I want people to remember, and some questions I hope the congregation will ponder. But it still lacks punch. It’s missing some key elements: a strong quote, a moving prayer, a surprising statistic, and elegant slides to share them all. Although I’ve been pulled in every direction by life, school, and work this week, that won’t matter to my listeners. The people who have graciously allowed me their time won’t care why my sermon falls flat. They’ll only remember that it wasn’t worth their time. I need to solve this problem.

Moments like these are what prompted us to create the Pastorum Series. This collection includes a solid set of resources to make your preaching more effective and preempt sermon prep breakdowns.

If I used the Pastorum Series in a situation like this, I would easily be able to finish preparing my sermon in 20 minutes. Here’s what I would do:

1. I would search the Sermon Starter Guide for the passage I’m preaching on (from the Gospel of Mark 8:34–­9:1). Then I would choose a quote from one of the 1,800 now in my library. Since the Sermon Starter guide has now returned results for only resources with the correct preaching theme, which is Discipleship, I would know that every choice would be relevant.

Thomas Kempis

2. Using the same search results, I would choose a fitting prayer from 400 Prayers for Preachers. With two clicks, I could add it to my Proclaim presentation, just like I could for the quotation I just chose.

John Wesley

3. I would open the Study, Apply, Share volume to the passage I’m preaching on and glance through the statistical graphics. These slides are available for Mark, Luke, Philippians, Hebrews, and James; using them, I could easily regain the congregation’s attention if it had started to wander.

Themes in Gospels

4. I would take a look at the sermon ideas in Study, Apply, Share: Mark, and perhaps adapt one that’s appropriate for my message. I might also incorporate one of the several study questions as part of my discussion, or use it to transition into the next part of my sermon.

The Pastorum Series is well worth the money to become a more effective speaker. Now that the Pastorum Series Collection is available, I’ll be using this go-to resource the next time I preach. Will you?

Make sermon prep better than ever—download the Pastorum Series Collection today.

Written by
John D. Barry

Rev. John D. Barry is an author, chaplain, nonprofit founder, and Bible scholar. John is the author or editor of 30 books, the general editor of Faithlife Study Bible and Lexham Bible Dictionary, and the former editor-in-chief of Bible Study Magazine.

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Written by John D. Barry
Unlock curated libraries and Bible study tools for up to 30% off with your first Logos 10 package.
Unlock curated libraries and Bible study tools for up to 30% off with your first Logos 10 package.