How long does it take you to prepare a sermon?

One of my most-asked questions in life! Here’s an article about how long it takes Keller, Piper, Driscoll and others. Keller’s quote, speaking about when he was in a small rural church, is particularly striking:

“I would not advise younger ministers to spend so much time [on sermon preparation], however. The main way to become a good preacher is to preach a lot, and to spend tons of time in people work–that is how you grow from becoming not just a Bible commentator but a flesh and blood preacher. When I was a pastor without a large staff I put in 6-8 hours on a sermon.”

Can you preach expositional sermons in poor, uneducated areas of the world?

Storming article from Mez McConnell on the importance of preaching. Some highlights:

“I hardly use video, power point a bit more perhaps, and even then it looks like I put it together with the help of my neighbour’s cat. I just use the Bible and words. I just believe what I preach and try to illustrate and apply it in everyday language. I do it systematically and, in the main, expositionally. Do you know what? People stay in and listen. People you wouldn’t believe stay in and even take some of the message on board.

“expository preaching gets a bad rap from many people (not all) who like to debate the merits of social justice and mercy ministries. They think it is too one-dimensional and an irrelevance in a non reading culture such as ours. All the talking heads and experts say so. They think that poorer people listen better when we ‘story’ the Bible and that we shouldn’t have just one approach from the pulpit. We shouldn’t even have a pulpit! Instead, we should mix it up and have more dialogue…So, should we be teaching our people more biblical narrative and maybe having a more interactive approach from the pulpit in our housing schemes and council estates? In a word, no. Here’s why.

“I base my ministry here not on what people want to listen to but on what God’s Word has to say. I can debate with my people every day of the week but for 30 plus minutes a week I am going to declare God’s Word loud and clear from our pulpit.

“The problem (usually) isn’t the length of the message, rather than the person stood giving it. Too many Herbert’s leaving Bible colleges who think that being able to preach to a class of theological students and maybe an odd, dusty, old congregation is going to wash in the wilds of our kind of ministry. Good exegesis is irrelevant if we can’t connect with people. Expository preaching isn’t the problem. Our pulpits are just full of irrelevant, expository preachers on the one hand, or namby, pamby, wishy washy emergent types on the other.”

Read the whole thing.

It isn’t, however, an argument to hide away in the study all week as his article on Community Living makes clear.

Mez’ testimony

Longer version