The new year is right around the corner, have you planned your preaching schedule for 2013 yet? Here are some tips to help you plan for your preaching for all of next year:
1. Spend time fasting, praying and preparing yourself spiritually to hear from God- the amount of time and the way you do this will depend on the individual. There is no substitute, however, for getting yourself spiritually prepared to hear from God. As I prepare to start work on my preaching plan, I like to spend 3-4 days fasting, dedicating several periods of time during each day for spiritual examination and prayer. No amount of planning can substitute for prayer and hearing from God. Every step in this process must be bathed and saturated in prayer. The more time you spend in spiritual preparation the better.
2. Identify the key issues and needs facing your congregation-I like to take an afternoon to simply pray through our church directory, asking God to call to mind the needs of individual needs of my congregation. As the Lord calls various issues to my mind, I make a list of issues and needs. Once I have prayed through every name in the directory, I then go back and categorize the needs and identify the most pressing issues facing our church.
3. Outline your preaching strategy- one of the key factors for effective preaching is to have variety in your styles and approaches. I highly recommend for you to make preaching through individual books of the Bible the backbone of your preaching ministry, but I have found that it is effective to vary my style of preaching throughout the year. You will have to adjust the plan to meet your needs but I try to include the following in my yearly plan:
– Preach through two books of the Bible
– An expository topical series on the family
– A theological expository series on a major doctrine of the Bible
– Individual holiday sermons or short series
– Standalone messages dealing with specific issues in the community
3.) Decide how you will observe the ordinance and special Sunday’s-every church has its own special services and ways of observing the ordinances but this does not mean t we cannot get creative in how we deal with them from the pulpit. Graduation Sundays, homecoming services and other special days need to be put on the calendar and given special attention in our planning.