Sermon Research Matters by Ed Stetzer
In 2010 LifeWay Research found that Protestant pastors devote more time to sermon preparation than anything else they do–and that’s good news.
Only 7% dedicate less than 5 hours a week, which is a smaller number than the 9% who dedicate more than 25 hours per week to sermon preparation.
That’s a lot of time out of a pastor’s work-week. With 65% of pastors working at least 50 hours a week, that indicates to us that the average pastor is dedicating a significant amount of time in sermon preparation.
I want to affirm their energies and effort. The preaching of God’s Word matters greatly. It is difficult to underestimate the importance of the pulpit ministry.
Hebrews 4:12 reminds us, “For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.” Beyond that, Romans 10:17 points out, “faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.” This is extremely important.
What we say in the pulpit is used by the Holy Spirit to transform people’s lives, and lead them to be like Jesus.
It is because of this important priority that I think sermon research tools are invaluable assets to assisting a pastor to teach and preach well. Language tools, commentaries, Bible dictionaries, software, and so many other options are excellent resources and should be taken advantage by the busy pastor. I know a little bit about this pressure because I serve as a volunteer, unpaid pastor at Grace Church. I use them regularly, but want to use them efficiently.
In my role as volunteer pastor, I have three primary responsibilities. I preach most Sundays, I lead a small group, and I lead the staff of Grace Church. This is in addition to my job–my primary work responsibility–at LifeWay, which occupies most of my time. So, as I prepare to preach each week, I use a variety of these tools to help insure that I am preaching the word of God with accuracy and confidence.
One tool that I have used for quite a while now is a sermon researcher.
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SOURCE: Christianity Today