Five Benefits of Sermon Planning

Military Plan Metaphor For Sermon PlanningMany preachers have preached sermons that were not prepared from making use of sermon planning. Often the sermon lands us in Flunkersville and we resolve never to be in this position again. However, the next worship service approaches so quickly and the other demands of ministry and life force us to yet another sermon that we did not prepare adequately.

But, there is a way around this. It is called Sermon Planning which is the first step in my own homiletic program called Supercharge Your Sermons. In this article I want to give five benefits for Sermon Planning that I hope will convince you that this needs to be done in your own preaching ministry.

1) Sermon Planning helps us to make more economical use of our time

One of the questions that I often receive is: “how can we plan our sermons when we don’t have enough time to prepare sermons?” What the questioner doesn’t realize is that in the grand scheme of things, sermon planning helps us to make greater use of our time.

A good sermon plan first of all allows preachers to prepare at all times. When you are in the grocery checkout line, you can think about either the next sermon or any sermon that you have in your plan. Illustrations come to mind at any time. You can capture them rather than simply forcing them to fit at the last minute or attempting to find a sermon illustration from books. Yes, good sermon planning allows the preacher to make greater use of her or his time.

2) Sermon Planning allows the preacher to more easily address the people’s real needs

This is true because sermon planning allows us first of all to find the people’s real needs. We no longer make assumptions about what is needed in the congregation, we analyze the congregation to determine them.

When you construct a sermon plan, you give yourself a chance to plan in the people’s needs in a much greater way than when you are preaching week to week without a sermon plan. You can plan for a sermon series to address a weakness in your congregation or perhaps throw in a few sermons to strengthen the strengths of the congregation. When you plan, you and the Spirit decide what will be the larger direction of your pulpit ministry more than what would happen if you preached week to week without engaging in sermon planning.

3) Sermon Planning allows us to see our “blind spots”

All preachers have “blind spots” in their preaching ministry. These are areas where we either don’t preach or don’t spend enough time preaching. When we have such issues we deprive our congregation of certain themes that may be needed by the congregation.

Sermon Planning will help us see these blind spots. Just seeing them is helpful. An adequate sermon plan also will helps us determine how much we need to preach on some of these issues in our particular congregation. When you plan, you can put in sermons that address these places that we would normally ignore if we did not go through the effort of planning our sermon ministry.

4) Sermon Planning allows us to preach a more broad message

Related to that, those who preach sermons derived from week to week preaching (without a plan) can preach a limited message. The sermons address the same themes. They often exhibit a limited theology. “Ain’t God Good” might be the only theme addressed. Or other preachers may end up with a “You Need to Live Right” message. Both of these themes are true and valuable in and of themselves, but they are not the full counsel of God. The full counsel would include both of these themes and more. A good way to broaden our message is to engage in sermon planning.

5) Sermon Planning allows us to spend more time on exegesis and sermon construction

One of the great things that sermon planning does is that it removes the frantic search for an “idea” or “thought” or “text.” The text and a basic direction are taken care of in the plan. Now you can immediately go into exegesis and then sermon construction.

Certainly there are times when we set our plan aside as the Spirit guides us in another direction. But sermon planning helps us to preach a well rounded message to create a well rounded people. I believe that sermon planning will improve your preaching and help you to move your preaching ministry to the next level.

How do you put together a plan? Here is a link to a broad overview of the process of sermon planning. In addition, you can find out more in our coming Supercharge your Sermons 2.0 program.

Comments

comments

Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

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4 comments on “Five Benefits of Sermon Planning
  1. Mark Harrison says:

    We are at war with the evils of this world. when you are at war one must plan a strategy to win the battle. People don’t retain what the hear or thaught when we keep jumping around in our Bible teachings. I believe we learn by systematic teaching and preaching.

  2. Rev. Kelly says:

    Elder Cox, I enjoyed reading this article. As I think about the last three sermons I preached at my church, the effectiveness of those sermons only came about because I had a plan and I assessed the needs of the congregation. Too often preaching texts make things very complicated. Thank you for keeping this very important point simple and plan to understand. Be blessed in the Lord.

    Rev. Kelly

  3. Roger Abuloc says:

    Yes, I completely agree with the importance of Sermon planning. Even in our other activities in life we need to make a plan to be efficient and most of all not to forget the important issues that need to be addressed and remedied. More so in sermon planning as it involves the spiritual well-being of the congregation. Thanks and God bless!

  4. Rev Williamson says:

    This was an excellent article and much needed. Thanks

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