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
        1. English
        2. Greek/Hebrew
II. Verse by Verse Analysis
   A. Translation: parsing, notations, etc.
   B. Words
       1. Lexical
       2. Grammatical
   C. Cross References
   D. Textual Criticism
   E. Translation Comparison
   F. Genre
  G. Commentaries
      1. Personal
      2. John Calvin
      3. Matthew Henry
      4. Matthew Poole
      5. Others
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.
      C. Illustrations 
      D. Sermon Purpose
      E. Final Outline
      F. Final Proposition
      G. Conclusion
      H. Introduction

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? 



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