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Writing a Good Message in a Bad Week

What to do when you can't invest your normal study time

For even the most diligent and disciplined preacher, those weeks come in which time for sermon preparation is short. What should we do?

How we use the time we have for sermon preparation is the single-most important human factor in the effectiveness of the sermon. Obviously, if he so chooses, God can take anything we offer and empower it to produce Pentecost! But more often than not it is the quality of our preparation, regardless of how stressed we may be, which makes the difference between poverty and potency in the pulpit. I would offer the following suggestions for sermon preparation to time-squeezed pastors.

Work during peak hours.

For those who feel they're most efficient early in the day, I suggest giving three to four hours each morning to sermon preparation. But if you're like a pastor friend of mine who comes alive at eleven at night, then study as much as you can after the rest of your family has gone to bed.

My guess is that the average pastor—who must lead meetings, do ...

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