The recent success is hanging up as a trophy on the wall, the gun still hot from projecting its lethal bullet, and already the hunter begins preparation for his next conquest....many preachers know exactly of what I speak. The final "Amens" have been said, the pats on the back received, an enjoyed Sunday night meal at Wendys with a few church folks who still are laughing at the four five-minute stories shared in the 30 minute message delivered that night, and finally a good night's rest. Then...it begins....
What am I going to preach next week? First, a quick glance through some past sermons; if you're lucky, you might 'be led' to preach one that is already done and hasn't been preached for a few years. No luck!
We begin searching through our favorite books: "Simple Sermons on Salvation"for Sunday morning, "10 Practical Sermons on Serving the King" for Sunday night, and "50 Ready to Preach Sermon Outlines" for our mid-week service. Bummer, we have already preached 100 of them last year.
Hey! There's the "Sword of the Lord." We begin skimming the paper looking at the italics trying to find the main points. Unfortunately, we had Dr. PreachRight here at our church last year and he preached that same message. But, the other sermon on the front page...well...let's just say "Sunday Night-Done."
It's lunch time now on Monday and we go and take our lunch break, follow it up with a few games of solitaire on the computer, check our facebook, update twitter, and call a missionary and schedule him for next month (one sermon down for next month!). Time to go home!
Tuesday comes and after a quick two hour computer check on things, we then begin 'studying' again. We need a mid-week message and a Sunday morning message. We then go to our favorite web pages.... www.sermonseeds.org; sermonnotebook.org; and sermoncentral.com. There it is! "Prayer Revisited"
I. Privacy of Prayer
II. Power of Prayer
III. Persistence of Prayer
IV. Partnership of Prayer
V. Pattern of Prayer
And...the references are all given as well. Shew! Mid-week done! Time for lunch, facebook, solitaire, etc!
Wednesday begins, and the hunt is almost over. All we need now is a Sunday morning sermon-but wait, the phone rings and we need to go to the hospital to visit a parishioner. By the time we visit with them, stop for lunch, and swing by the store; well, it's time to get ready to preach that Prayer sermon and go to church.
Thursday is our day off. We shall rest.
Friday begins with some computer catching up, a quick call to check on the member at the hospital, and now it's time to study for a Sunday Morning Sermon. We bring out the big guns now...our "Spurgeon Sermons Five Volume Set." We will need to change alot of the wording as our folks would have a hard time following a non-alliterated message, but we could make it work. Or wait, maybe we could listen to a sermon on biblepreaching.com or sermonaudio.com or the like. It would require 40 minutes to listen and write down the points, but time well spent 'studying.' Yes, there it is, a sermon by Ralph Sexton Jr. "Making Much of Jesus." It did require 68 minutes of listening and writing down main points (of course we were able to continue our solitaire conquest while listening), but we are done studying! Time to go home and enjoy our Friday night Smackdown episode and maybe an episode of Survivor.
Saturday morning we get up at the crack of 9 and head towards church. There we meet with everyone and go out soul winning. We were able to get 12 people "repeat a prayer" and have 12 illustrations for "Making Much of Jesus." We then go home and enjoy a few hours of rest before Sunday. It's been a rough week, alot of studying and visiting, but we have our sermons and are ready for another Sunday.
But then Monday, the hunt begins!
It would be funny; if it weren't so true for so many.
Oh that men of God would get back to preaching the Word of God. That more time would be spent in prayer, fasting, and contextual study and preaching of the Word. I am not against using other folks ideas, sermons, and thoughts...just fear that there are those who if the computer and all books were removed other than a Bible, they would struggle in finding a sermon. I fear there is more time spent looking up illustrations than there are Scriptures. Our people are being lost to false doctrine, false churches, and lies and deceptions. May we preach the Word!
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
But ye have not so learned Christ;
If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
And be renewed in the spirit of your mind