Answers for Pastors Devotionals

Common questions from pastors answered by 9Marks ministry

Answers for Pastors

What are some tips for preparing a sermon on a tight schedule?
  1. Expositional sermons take time to prepare, so you need to make time. You need to meditate on and exegete the text, understand the text’s main point and turn it into a sermon outline, carefully consider how to apply the text to your hearers’ lives, and then write a sermon. So the first thing to do is block out time in your schedule. As much as you can manage, make yourself unavailable for anything else.
  2. Meditate on the text during your daily devotions and encourage the members of your church to do the same. Use the text as a guide as you pray for the members of your church through the week.
  3. Read the text at the beginning of staff meetings and elders meetings, and then have each person praise God in prayer for something in the text. This will focus your hearts on the text and give you, the preacher, whatever initial insights your colleagues have into the text.
  4. Accept help from others. If members of your congregation are meditating on the sermon text throughout the week, ask them about it. If they consistently raise certain issues, you should address them in your preparation.
  5. Another way to accept help from others is to give up the need to discover everything yourself. If someone points out a feature of the text that lends itself to a good outline, use it.
  6. Have a conversation with a non-staff church member about applying the text. Once you’ve done your exegetical work and have the bulk of the sermon outline, sit down with an intelligent but theologically untrained church member and discuss how you can apply the text to people’s lives specifically.
 (Much of this material has been adapted from Michael Lawrence’s article, “Let the Word of God Dwell in You Richly”)

Find more great resources for church health from Mark Dever and 9Marks Ministries at

About Answers for Pastors

Learn all about Christianity at with rich, theological articles, video, and audio focused on the life of Jesus Christ, Bible Study, the Christian church, and Christian living for families. Grow in your faith and walk with Christ as you read about the history of Christianity, salvation, evangelism and discipleship. Use free daily devotionals from your favorite pastors, authors, and speakers as a way to spend daily quiet time with God. Discover how devotions can help you make postive changes in your life toward living out the promises of God. also offers free online Bible study tools with over 30 translations and a library of commentaries, concordances, lexicons, and more for you to highlight, take notes in, and bookmark for studying the Word!

  • Editors' Picks

    Don't Think of Church as Your Own Spiritual Power Bar
    Don't Think of Church as Your Own Spiritual Power Bar
  • Is it Biblical for Christians to Get Tattoos?
    Is it Biblical for Christians to Get Tattoos?
  • Why the Church Must Start Talking about Domestic Violence
    Why the Church Must Start Talking about Domestic Violence