Many of us have had the feeling, is my preaching going anywhere? Or maybe you are thinking, “Haven’t I preached this same sermon last month.” I know exactly where you are coming from. And what you need to do is engage in some sermon planning. In this planning, you should do a few things.
Ask Help from God
Before doing anything, the preacher must seek that connection to God that we need before we can do anything. We must pray because the enemy wants the preacher to either preach what is incorrect or what is not needed. The only sure help for the determination of what we need to preach comes from a real and solid connection to God.
Analyze Your Sermons
After prayer and an assurance of the help from the Holy Ghost, you you should look at a number of sermons from the past. What themes did you preach on? What scriptures did you use? What kinds of illustrations did you employ in making your points? What authors did you quote? What area of theology did you address? Where you consistent in your theology?
Asking yourselves these questions will help you determine what and how you preached over the last block of time. What you may find out is that you are constantly preaching law and obedience when you know for a fact that the people need more grace. You may find that your preaching of obedience and the implications of the gospel is weak. You may find that you are not addressing Christology (doctrine of Christ) at all. Actually this can be a very eye opening exercise.
In addition, looking at your sermons like this can help you determine if you are addressing the whole council of God.
Analyze the Congregation
Next, you want to determine where the congregation is right now. What is happening in the life of the congregation? Have I, as pastor-preacher, been neglecting an important component of the Gospel that the people need to hear?
Then you want to determine where you want to go. From your experience with the congregation, you know what doctrines they need to experience more fully. If there have been a number of deaths in the congregation, perhaps you will see a need to address heaven and the future. In any case, you want to understand where you want to take the people in the next block of time.
Plan in Light of Your Analysis
After such an analysis you will have a number of themes, doctrines, and issues that need to be addressed in light of the Gospel. Now you are in a very good place for addressing the real needs of the congregation.
So go ahead and address these needs in your sermons. This kind of sermon planning will provide a purpose to all of your preaching.