Sermon Planning Time Again
Each year, I hide away for 3 days as we plan out the sermons for the next ministry year (September through Summer). This year I am heading somewhere new – Warm Beach Camp and Conferenceå Center. They offer pastors a free getaway to pray and plan. That is exactly what these 3 days are! Lots of prayer and lots of planning.
Each year, I ask people to pray as I seek the Lord’s direction for what HE wants me to preach on. After all, HE knows who is going to be there each weekend and what they need to hear from HIM! So I’m asking: PLEASE PRAY FOR ME TO HEAR CLEARLY FROM THE LORD!
For many years in ministry, I preached what I wanted to preach. Sure I prayed…kind of. But usually I said what I thought I needed to say to my audience. But in 2001, my preaching changed after I read, Fresh Power by Jim Cymbala. I was humbled to the core and under heavy conviction from the Holy Spirit. I literally wept and asked God to forgive me!
Ever since this encounter with God, I remind the Lord as I am studying, “I am just the messenger. Tell me what to say and I’ll say it.” This helps keep me dependent upon God while keeping my perspective in check. Then, before walking up to preach, I ask God to fill and filter me. Not only do I need the Holy Spirit’s filling for power but I also need filtering because everyone in the audience brings their own individual filter with them to church. (It’s amazing how people hear what they want to hear!)
On Monday, I head off to hear from God. Will you pray?