Finish Your Sermon Early

This post is a part of the “One Thing” series. Often we feel like we have to take drastic steps in our life or church to see significant change, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes the small things create the biggest impact. In this series, we’ll focus on “One Thing” you can do that will get you and your church moving in the right direction.


Some pastors are notorious for not finishing their message until Saturday night or even Sunday morning. My pastor was no exception. Luckily over the years he has gotten much better at finishing his sermon earlier in the week.

This has provided a number of benefits, not only for him, but for the team as well. If you’re waiting till the last minute to finish your sermon, I highly encourage you to change that. Here are a few of the benefits of finishing by Thursday.

  1. The media team, or whoever is inputting what goes on the screen on Sunday mornings, hate getting your notes at the last minute. If you’re also throwing in last minute pictures or videos, they may actually loathe you. Here’s why, inputting those things take time, more than you realize. When you’re getting your notes to them late, it’s stressing them out. There’s a good chance they could be dealing with lighting or sound issues all at the same time. Getting them your notes early allows them to input them in advance.
  1. Setting your message aside for a few days before you preach it gives it time to soak in. It’s like marinating a steak. The longer you let the steak marinade, the more flavor it’s going to have. Doing this allows you to retain the message better, and it also allows new ideas to form that you can add into your message. By doing this, you almost always end up with a better product than you started with.
  1. It frees up your weekends to focus on what’s most important; your family. How many times have you snapped at your kids on the weekend because you’re working on your message and they’re being loud? How many date nights have been cancelled or ruined because you’re stressing about an unfinished sermon? Your family is too important to ruin it because you waited to the last minute to finish something you should’ve got done that week.

I realize this is much harder for bi-vocational pastors, but for those full time pastors out there, you have no excuse. Lock yourself in your office at the beginning of the week and don’t come out until you have a finished product. Your wife, your kids, and your team will thank you.

When are you typically finishing your sermon? What benefits have you seen from finishing early? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below. Also, make sure to subscribe to the blog to get tips just like this delivered to your inbox each week.

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