Last week I surveyed how long well known pastors – like Keller, Piper, and Driscoll – take to prepare their sermons. The discussion in the comments was fantastic. One commenter, Andrew, posted an interesting thought:
“This was really interesting. I’d also be interested to hear a similar breakdown from faithful, small church pastors. May give those of us who are not outrageously gifted a more helpful barometer!”
So I emailed faithful pastors who I know personally to see if they’d be willing to shoot me a couple short paragraphs of how they prepare. They each gave me a detailed description of their process, and I offer their thoughts here for you, and I list some ways they surprised me at the end.
I spent a couple of days this week speaking at a conference at the Creation Museum—my first time visting it. Before I arrived I decided to put a little bit of thought into why I am a six-day creationist. I wanted to affirm in my own mind that I was walking into the museum already convinced of a position.
I believe God created the world in six days—six literal twenty-four hour periods. I believe the earth is young—probably less than ten thousand years old. I have always believed this. But why? As I considered this position, I realized there are three main reasons I hold to it.
…have you ever considered that tolerance is never encouraged in the Bible? The fruit of the Spirit includes love and kindness, but missing from the list is tolerance. In fact, Christians aren’t called to tolerance, because we serve an intolerant God.
A few of these terms are important to me. They might be important to you. And, yes, I just put “Gospel” on the list. The reason is not that the biblical term has lost its meaning but that it has been so widely applied that others have lost a sense of its meaning. The three questions I have are simple: “When you use that term, what do you mean?” and “Do the people listening to you understand what you are saying?” and “Do they now understand enough to follow where you are leading?” It is a lesson that was driven home for me when I recently traveled to teach at the Kiev Theological Seminary. When leading, we must know these facts.
I remember the event clearly: it was a group of young married couples from our church who went out to dinner. My wife and I were invited (even though we had been married for 24 years by then), I think because I was called “The Pastor” of the church. When the person who was organizing the event turned to me and asked if I would give thanks for the food, I said, “No.” I thought he was going to have a coronary on the spot. He just looked at me with a blank stare begging an explanation. I then added, “There are plenty of people here that can pray besides me.”