How long did it take you to prepare your message for yesterday?

Here are the results of Thom Rainer’s unscientific (come on Ed, let’s make this official!) poll on how long it takes pastors to write their messages:

1 to 3 hours — 1%

4 to 6 hours — 9%

7 to 9 hours — 15%

10 to 12 hours — 22%

13 to 15 hours — 24%

16 to 18 hours — 23%

19 to 21 hours — 2%

22 to 24 hours — 0%

25 to 27 hours — 1%

28 to 30 hours — 2%

31 to 33 hours — 1%

Where do YOU fit in?

Do you start from scratch?

Do you use outlines/illustrations/series titles from other pastors/churches?

Have you ever take a whole sermon, word-for-word, from another pastor/church?

How does your sermon preparation look this week?

I’d love to hear what your plan is for this week.  Leave a comment!


Read more from Thom Rainer here…


  • Pastor Tom Smith June 24, 2013 Reply

    I probably spend more time on my messages than most, because I use a manuscript style of preparation. This is not because I read every word, but because I have had a mild stroke, and my mind has a tendency to,,,,,,,,, what?????? Oh yeah my sermon notes!

    Anyway, I use a Power Point projector for my presentation, and control it from the pulpit. It includes my notes on the same page as my illustrations. So, depending on the message, I can have as many as 20 slides, and if I don’t put the relevant manuscript on the slide page, I get off in the ozone occasionally.

    Anyway, it works for me.

  • Pastor Joseph June 24, 2013 Reply

    I spend about 30 hours a week and usually use the expository method of preaching, and use Greek when neccessary. I actually write in a commentary format, but I don’t preach like that. I do it for persoanl reasons. I’ve never used another pastor’s sermon, but I have occasionally looked at outlines or listen to messages to get ideas on special sermons for holidays.

  • Leonard June 26, 2013 Reply

    This is really hard to tell because I work on several messages at one time. I am building a series on the Fruit of the Spirit right now and have spent the past 2 months working on several messages for the series.

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