My wife was recently asked if she had heard all my sermons and material over the years of ministry. I will admit she has listened to some stuff a few times over. As a leader for five Churches as a full-time minister, you are bound to have some material repeated. But it may surprise you that most of what I preach every week is new.
Each year I plan on preaching around 49 times. When I put the schedule together for the year, I make sure about 40 of those are on topics or texts I have never preached before. If I pick a topic I have used, I will try to land on a passage of scripture that looks at it from a different angle.
The reason nine of them are the same is that they are essential to the Christian story. Every year I will focus on the birth, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Some stories must be told every year as they are central to our faith. Everything else is fair game.
Why do I do this? Because preaching different material stretches me to grow and learn. When I come to a new sermon, I am forced to read and comprehend passages in detail. A topical sermon makes me engage in what the whole scripture says about an issue. I am pushing myself to learn about texts and topics that will help me as a believer.
One dream of mine is to lead a congregation of people growing in their knowledge of God. I want to preach and teach in a way that helps to produce that goal. I also want to be a person who models it in his worship and work.