The Real Work of the Preacher
Sometimes, especially in the Black Church, preaching is seen as glamorous. This is completely understandable. Seeing someone who has been called of God powerfully living into that call by proclaiming the word is a very attractive proposition. All of us whether preacher or not are called to live into our call powerfully like this. However, becuase the preacher’s job is so visible, we can lose track of the fact that the vast majority of our work is behind the scenes.
It has been estimated that on average we can spend between 10 and 20 hours in preparation of a 30 minute to hour sermon. My own sermon preparation manual entitled You Can Preach: 7 Steps to an Effective Sermon which you can download for free spends 6 steps in preparation and only 1 in the actual preached event. Our upcoming preaching manual entitled The Soul Preacher: How to Prepare and Preach A Sermon in the African American Tradition spends more time in discussion of the preached event, but the majority of the time is still spent in preparation.
There is just no getting around it, preaching is about preparation. Because of this, the preacher must not get past the realization that great preaching requires great preparation. Today, let us as preachers devote ourselves to that…