I am (overly) organized. Therefore, I wrote an outline to help me carefully schedule my sermon preparation each week. We have two worship services, so I need to get two sermons done. The following outline keeps me heading in the right direction, so I am not in panic mode on Saturday night.
I. Greek / Hebrew
A. Text: Greek/Hebrew
B. Text: English
C. Structural Analysis
II. Verse by Verse Analysis
A. Translation: parsing, notations, etc.
C. Cross References
D. Textual Criticism
E. Translation Comparison
2. John Calvin
3. Matthew Henry
4. Matthew Poole
III. Pericope Summary
A. Summary Statement (general thoughts/comments on the passage)
B. Rough Outline / Proposition
IV. Final Outline and Proposition
A. Audience? Occasion and Adaptations
B. Applications — NOTE: I have some great worksheets that help with this process. I will make them available soon.
D. Sermon Purpose
E. Final Outline
F. Final Proposition
Using the above outline, I structure my week as follows:
MON: My day “off.”
- 1Sermon – 1 // The number after the dash relates to #I. in the outline above. Therefore, all I care about on Tuesday is translating the passage, doing a structural analysis, and noting any grammar, lexical items as I translate. I have started working ahead on the translation phase. If I am ahead, I jump right to the Wed. work with the idea of getting ahead.
- 1Sermon – 2 A, B, C, D, E, F, G // On Wed I start point II. above.
- 2Sermon – 1 // Following the outline, I will translate and note any textual items for the PM passage.
- 1Sermon – 2 A, B, C, D, E, F, G // On Thur, I complete point II. above.
- 2Sermon – 2 A, B, C, D, E, F, G //
- 1 Sermon – 3 and 4 // On Fri, I complete the outline, aside from any last minute items and other things. The sermon is nearly complete.
- 2 Sermon – 2 A, B, C, D, E, F, G // Friday afternoon is usually dedicated to this section of the outline and the P.M. sermon.
- 1 Sermon – Final // I usually work until 3 in the afternoon on Saturday, tweaking and adjusting the sermon.
- 2 Sermon – 3 and 4 & Final // The afternoon sermon is completed on Saturday morning.
I am constantly tweaking and adjusting this process, but it has worked for me, for the most part. Keep in mind that this process assumes a quiet week in the pastorate. That sometimes happens, but not always, which is why I am trying to get ahead on the translation phase, which gives me a full day in the event I need it. I hate the feeling of dread when Saturday arrives, and I am nowhere near done. Every pastor knows that feeling.
Feedback is welcomed. What process do you use?