According to my research, that statement is a fact. Of course, my research is not scientific, but I believe it to be accurate. My most trusted research data comes from my wife. She says we’re the busiest people in our country, and I always listen to my wife!
I know, firsthand, all the many different directions we are pulled, every single day. There’s hospitals to visit, weddings to officiate, and funerals to preach. There’s families to counsel, new believers to disciple, and leaders to train. There’s worship services to plan, toilets to unclog, and light bulbs to be replaced. And some of us have these things to do WHILE working another job – doing the bi–vocational thing. There’s enough stuff going on to keep us busy twenty–five hours a day, eight days a week.
Oh yeah, and there’s sermons to prepare. We’ve got to work that in with all the other things vying for our attention. The one thing most of us feel to be our primary purpose, our calling – preaching the Word of God – has to compete with everything else for the one finite element in all of this.
As a seminary student, I remember hearing someone say a pastor should dedicate an hour of preparation to every minute of his sermon. At the time, I thought that was an unreal amount of time to spend in sermon prep. Now, years and sermons later, I can’t even grasp the thought. If our average sermon length is thirty minutes, that equates to thirty hours of prep! For those who have a Sunday night message to prepare, and maybe one for Wednesday night, well, that doesn’t exactly leave time for much else.
There may be some of you who have that luxury of time, but for most of us, that amount of time is simply not there. So we do the best we can with the time we’ve got, and trust God to make something useful from our efforts. And our gracious and merciful Lord often does.
But we want to do better. We want to present our people with well–prepared messages. Messages that will not only fill a thirty minute time slot, but will also feed them spiritually, lift their hearts, convict them of their sin, and call them into a new or deeper walk with the Lord.
That’s why I’ve put this series together. These Sermon Outlines for Busy Pastors books are for those of you who can identify with any of the above. I want to give you something to build on. Something that’s been studied through, that gives you a head–start for your messages this Sunday. Something that will help you make the most of your limited time.
I don’t make any claims these are the best sermon outlines you’ll ever see. They may not be on par with anything you’ve prepared yourself. But they have all been studied over, prayed over, and preached. The outlines are complete, compiled from the sermon notes I take into the pulpit each week. Take them as a whole, or use them to spur your thoughts in other directions.
Another thing I remember hearing in seminary is: “The Bible, the Word of God, has been preached by many, many preachers for two thousand years. You’re probably not going to preach anything that hasn’t been preached before.” I would say that is an accurate statement. We’re influenced by the preachers and sermons we hear. God speaks to us through them. And He may speak those same words through us in our messages to others. I know that’s true sometimes in my case and I’m fairly certain that’s true for most pastors. And I’m sure many sermons you’ll find here bear the marks of those preachers I’ve heard or read.
Nevertheless, I offer these sermon outlines to you. Use them for your benefit and for the glory of our Lord. I pray these books, and the entire series, provides you with a tool to help you make the most of your time. And to make much of Jesus Christ.