Sermon Preparation (2)

Greg Strand – May 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Stephen Um, “Sermon Prep: A Week in One Life”:

Um serves as the at Citylife Presbyterian Church in Boston. One of the keys in Um’s sermon preparation is “having an eye toward is what is ahead.” He and the other pastoral staff have planned the preaching schedule for 12-18 months in advance.

On Tuesday morning, he and the preaching staff meet to discuss the specific biblical text and talk about two main issues: the main idea, and the big idea. He spends the rest of the afternoon doing his exegetical study.

On Wednesday, he engages in other pastoral ministry and allows the text to simmer.

On Thursday he spends about four hours to look trace out the inter-canonical themes of the text looking “for ways in which Christ is the fulfillment, resolution, or completion of the dramatic tensions in the Bible’s plotline.” Then he consults other commentaries.

Friday his attention is given to application, bearing in mind the hearts of the individuals in the congregation. In the afternoon he writes up a manuscript, which is done in outline form.

Saturday night he spends about three hours reading over the manuscript.

Sunday he prays over the message. Um notes that his three goals are to “expound Christ, adore Christ, and apply Christ.”

Um concludes this brief piece with four lessons learned.

1. Connect Your Text to the Whole Bible
2. Connect Your Life to the Lives of Your People
3. Cultivate a Posture of Constant Learning
      • Learn from any and all preachers, but don’t try to imitate them.
      • Invite constructive criticism, but don’t become preoccupied with it.
4. Consistently Find Your Identity in Christ, Not in Your Preaching

I encourage you to read his whole post. It is helpful. Though it is not necessarily something to imitate, it is certainly something from which to learn from a fellow preacher who is seeking to be a faithful preacher of the Word of God to the people of God.

Greg Strand


Affectionately called “Walking Bible” by his youngest daughter, Greg Strand has a ministry history that goes back to 1982. Since that time, he has served in local church ministry in a variety of ministry capacities: youth pastor, associate pastor of adult ministries and senior pastor. He is currently the EFCA's Executive Director of Theology and Credentialing. Greg reads voraciously and never stops learning — a passion reflected in the overflowing bookshelves that spill from his library to multiple offices. And he could tell you about each of those books! His hunger for learning pales in contrast to his great love for God and for teaching the Word of God.

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