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Pen Mightier than Sword

4 keys to Last Minute Sermon Planning

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If you don’t have your series and sermons planned out for 2013…you’re not alone! Many pastors and communicators wait until the last-minute to plan things out.

Let me share with you what we’re doing and I hope it can help you to not be a “crunch time” planner.

1) Preach through the Bible every year

– We read through the Bible as a church every year (We use Mariners Church condensed reading plan)
– It gives you the opportunity to tell the entire God-Story every year
– The first two quarters (Jan-Jun) go through the Old Testament
– The last two quarters (Jul-Dec) go through the New Testament

2) Use a spreadsheet to date all the Sundays

– Plan in advance for Sunday’s off
– Understand the importance of special days, i.e.,  MLK, Mothers day, etc.

3) Plan for series to run 4-6 weeks

– Start a new series the Sunday after Easter
– Start another new series the Sunday after Labor Day

4)  Answer these questions about each sermon

– What is the main Scripture
– What story will captivate and tie to the Scripture
– What is the main idea to be conveyed
– What is the “One Point” that will be memorable

These have been a tremendous help to us in planning our sermons series, especially preaching through the Bible every year. It has helped our church to stay on the “same page” every year.



Categories: Leadership


  • Maranatha John

    Very helpful tips. Not sure if you’ve heard of the book “Lay people and the ministry” by Dag Heward-Mills. He outlines similar points, and goes further to teach on steps to effective preaching or delivering a sermon. I believe it’ll be a great aid to all ministers of the gospel.

  • Greg Waddell

    Good tips Artie. The one point recommendation is very important. I think the most common of all preaching mistakes is to take on more than what peopl can take in in one message. This is more important today than ever before because of the information overload we are all experiencing.

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