September 16, 2009

Planning Ahead: Sermon Planning

Filed under: Youth Ministry — Neil @ 6:00 am

Staying ahead in my sermon planning is a top priority.  It has many benefits.  I’ll cover this topic over several posts because I hate reading long blog post & I thought you might as well.

Today, let’s talk about developing sermon ideas.  Not actual sermons, but rather just a message’s framework.

I’m always keeping a list of sermon (& sermon series) ideas.  Some I use in the next few weeks/months.  Others have been stored for a year or more.  I just like having a list of ideas that God has given me to teach.

I’ve found that God triggers my mind through the following:

  • reading Scripture (this is far & away #1 on this list)
  • listening to sermons (podcasts are so beneficial)
  • listening to the hearts of teenagers (when I really listen to them I’ll hear them tell me what they long to know)
  • keeping my pulse on youth culture
  • getting away from the day to day work of youth ministry; it’s often right after a few days off that God begins to stir ideas in my heart & mind

I’ve learned that when God begins speaking to me that I must stop & write down my ideas @ that moment.  I use the notepad on my phone to store my ideas.  It syncs to my computer so I have the list there as well.

I’ll list the main theme, scripture references, illustration ideas, creative elements.  Sometimes it’s just a passage of Scripture w/ a simple, undeveloped idea.  Other times it’s much more in depth.  The important thing for me is writing down the ideas as God provides.

Then, when I sit down to plan out worship services & the topics/sermon series that we’ll cover for each semester I have a list of ideas.


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