The problem with preaching every Sunday is that it comes once every 7 days. That doesn't give you much time to prepare. Most pastors preach Sundays message which they started to prepare the Monday before and didn't finish until late Saturday. Or worst early Sunday. This kind of rhythm will suck the life right out of you and finding yourself at all time high stress levels. Also the message of Jesus Christ usually suffers because of it.

When I was at the Isn't She Beautiful Conference at Mars Hill Bible Church, Rob Bell explained how he went about preparing his sermons. Instead of frantically preparing a sermon from week to week he believes in developing a discipline he called "Buckets, Chunks and Marinade." First he starts of by saving small doc files of individual thoughts, quotes, questions, scripture, life experience and interaction that he come across. He leaves these on his desktop until a theme emerges and when they do he moves all the files with a similar theme into a 'bucket' (folder/directory). These ‘buckets’ are where he starts to formulate blocks of major thoughts he calls ‘chunks’. These ‘chunks’ become a sermon and/or series. If there is three or more ‘chunks’ this will most likely becomes a sermon series instead of a single message. Once the chunks are formulated he begins the process 'marinade'. ‘Marinating’ is where much of the creative energy is added. He works on the flow and the overall sermon delivery. The longer this takes usually the better it is. Rob says, “they need to simmer a while before they are ready to go.” Once they've marinated long enough he puts them on his teaching schedule. At Mars Hill Bible Church they plan out their sermons topics a year in advance. This may seem a little excessive, but I've found almost every prolific preacher does this scheduling.

Next: Discipline of Sermon Prep (via Blog)


  1. Bill Reichart // June 8, 2007 at 9:21 AM  

    Thanks, that is a good word. I think pastors need to be collectors. That is collect information and file it(knowing how to access it)but not knowing how that information has any immediate use. I just preached a sermon on Thirst, and pulled information that I collected years ago. Google Notebook and Evernote have been tools that I have used to help me clip and gather information.
    Bill from ProvocativeChurch

  2. -=Kez=- // June 9, 2007 at 7:55 AM  

    Thanks for the feedback. We will be posting on Google Notebook and I'll look into Evernote asap.

  3. rick grayshock // June 11, 2007 at 1:13 PM  

    So are you saying that he just creates folders for his desktop? Would backpak be helpful for this?

  4. -=Kez=- // June 12, 2007 at 1:47 PM  

    Yep, Rob creates files, then moves them into folders over time.

    I assume Backpack would work great for this. I'm not a Backpack user yet.

    However, Bob Hyatt at is the man when it comes to Backpack questions. Look him up.