Dear Sovereign Redeemer and other friends,
This post assumes you have already read this, this and this. The Bible work is done, the study Bibles perused, the commentaries considered. Now I have an orderly and sometimes hefty study file.
The earlier in the week I can reach this point the better. I like to have a few days in this condition before I start writing. Whether consciously or not – sometimes I am purposefully thinking about it, often not – I am percolating on the information and turning the sermon text over in my mind again and again. Constructing a sound, expository sermon is more than picking out the particularly quotable nuggets from the experts and stringing them together in an organized way. It involves thinking. A lot of thinking.
Either the day I write the sermon, or preferably the day before, I print out my study file and read through it, making notes, highlighting the most significant portions, and starring the parts I want to make sure to use. By the end, that pack of papers is almost always a mess, and that’s how I like it!
Working back through my study file in this way usually requires 1 hour.
Now I am ready to write.