Each week when I write a sermon, I have three things I keep in mind. First, I want to please God in all I do and speak. I want my words to be clear and for God to receive all the glory. Prayer is the first tool in my preaching toolbox.
Second, I am focused on the text and topic. Proper interpretation, context, theology, and sound doctrine are all foremost in my mind. I study, read, and search for the best understanding of what the Bible teaches, especially the primary passage for the week.
Third, I want to apply the lessons revealed in scripture clearly. That begins with a general thought about how these concepts will play out for everyone. Then it gets very specific as I go over the people I know will be sitting in each row.
This forces me to think beyond general application. How will the lady going through divorce apply this to her life? How will the man struggling with pornography use this in his life? How will that mother, father, grandparent, teenager, or spouse apply this teaching to their situation? I try to think of every possible person who will hear this sermon when I take the biblical message and describe how we will use it in our lives.
When I prepare a sermon, I try to keep you on my mind. I love Jesus, but I also love the people I speak to weekly. I will attempt to say something this week that you can use in your life. It is heartbreaking to me when you are not there, but when I know what I say connects with you, it is the most significant moment of my week.
I am excited to see you Sunday; I have been thinking about you all week.