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Mark Buchanan: How I Prepare a Sermon

Helping you develop your signature method of preparing a message

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Editor's note: As preachers develop their signature method of sermon preparation over the years, they often enhance their process by "cherry picking" from the sermon prep schedules and checklists of others. When someone preaches in a way that consistently intrigues and speaks to us, and we wonder how they do it, the answer may well be found in those schedules and checklists.

PreachingToday.com: Are there any key questions you normally answer, or paths of thought you typically take, as you study a text and write the sermon?

Mark Buchanan: I use the text as a base for mutual cross-examination: it interrogates me, and I it. I let the Word pry me for secrets, search me for hidden motives, scour my shadows, sort my muddled thoughts. I let it confront me, debunk me, teach me, bolster me, mess with me.

And I in turn subject it to a good grilling: how, why, where, when, who?

For instance, I recently spoke on the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), and this was one of the questions I brought ...

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