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Message Prep

Does anyone else find themselves preparing WAY TOO MUCH for each message. I don't mean total time spent... I mean gathering so much scripture that you find yourself trimming the message by the end of the week? That's where I am today.

Each week I prepare so many references to points I make during the message that I have to go back and eliminate passages or write "SUM IT UP" in my notes to keep me moving. The hard part is when you're preparing a message and realize that you could do an entire series out of each of your points. That's frustrating.

We only have 26 hours a YEAR with the MOST FAITHFUL of church attendees. If you include vacations and sick days that number on average is more like 20 hours of teaching from you a year.
Let's assume a person goes to a small group and gets another 20/yr.

These are our most faithful attendees and yet they get only 40 hours of teaching from someone 'at the church'.

Knowing this, I sometimes find myself cramming too much during my message prep.

When I was a kid I did the same thing with my lawnmower. I'd find a neighbors yard that was completely overgrown and I'd go up and ask them to cut it for like $10 (I didn't have a good price point) and then I'd attack the yard. I figured... "I'll just back up a few feet and run into the high grass with my amazing mower..." Whenever I did this I would get too much grass in the mower and it choked the life out of the mower. The mower would stop and I'd spend the next 10 minutes cleaning it out and pulling the chord to start it again. After a summer of blisters and frustration I think I learned not to do that.

I still need that reminder from time to time. I've had to become realistic in the fact that I only have 20 hours to communicate the entirety of scripture to most of our regular attendees. I have to teach them how to study the word on their own and encourage them to do so. In my talks on Sunday I have to clearly communicate aspects of the word in hopes that it helps them in their walk that week.

I try to remind our people that my messages (no matter how amazing) are only the cliff-notes version of God's word each week. They need to dig in for themselves.

I have to remind myself from time to time that I need to aim to cook a good steak, not a 20lb hamburger.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Friday, May 19, 2006


At 11:38 AM, Blogger Tony said...


Great post man. I think that unless you have a "creative team" or get your sermons from someone with a creative team you are inclined to do what you are describing. As the dude with the food you want to give em as much as you can. I like how you broke it down into hours...and 20 lb hamburgers. Never thought of it that way.


At 5:30 PM, Blogger Bob Franquiz said...


The last 2 messages I've taught, I've had 1.5 hours worth of stuff to say. But I had to get it down to 45 minutes. I actually prefer working with more info that I can use. This way, I am reducing it down to the best stuff.

At 11:29 AM, Anonymous josh said...

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