I congratulate you on your first Sunday! From all accounts it appears that you got off to a good start and for that I am very thankful, for your preaching/teaching responsibilities is one of the most important things you will do as a pastor.
However, now that you’ve gotten through your first weekend and preached your first sermon, I will let you in on a little secret—next Sunday is coming! Matter of fact, there is a long string of Sundays coming and it is amazing how quickly they come (!!!); and with each Sunday there comes the expectation of a sermon coming with it.
I’ll never forget my first few months as a pastor. I exhausted my backlog of sermons quickly (did I mention that I ran out of sermons quickly!). Not only did I run out of sermons, I ran of things to say–period. If it had not been for a little paperback book of sermons that I had picked up at Campmeeting that year I’d been toast. (I preached everyone of those sermons…my poor people!)
However, your people deserve better than warmed over/reworked sermons from someone else (or from you!); they deserve and need a fresh message straight from God’s heart—through your heart—to their heart each and every week. So, I am going to give you perhaps the most important sermon preparation principle there is: Don’t work on building sermons, work on building you.
There are those who say your personal devotions and sermon preparation are two entirely different things; I strongly disagree. Preach from the overflow of your own life. You’re on a journey with God; take your people with you. They know the difference when you are preaching at them vs. sharing with them, and the results are far different
Bottom line, your own personal devotional life should be the source of most of your sermons. If your sermons have not moved you and changed you, why would you think they will make a difference in your people’s lives?
- The ONE THING for today: If you hope to feed your people well, be sure to taste what you’re serving before dishing it out.