sermons

5 Ways to Pray Over Your Sermon

images-1Wonder why your messages have had underwhelming impact? Perhaps one of the most overlooked parts of an impactful message is prayer, both by the pastor and the congregation.

Here are 5 Ways to Pray Over Your Sermon

Peak Thinking: “We have emphasized sermon-preparation until we have lost sight of the important thing to be prepared—the heart. A prepared heart is much better than a prepared sermon. A prepared heart will make a prepared sermon.” – E.M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer

Never underestimate the power of prayer. And, never over-estimate your best preparations without it. Here are 5 ways to pray over your next message…

Pray to be true to God’s Word. Our words are forgettable and sometimes regrettable. It is the Word of God that souls crave and truly need at their core.

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”  – Hebrews 4:12, NIV

2) Pray to stay out of the way. Pride can creep in when we are hoping and working for that “amen,” laugh, cry, gasp, stone-cold silence or any other emotional response we know we can illicit from a crowd.

3) Pray to connect with your audience. Remember… your best connections may come from your worst moments. (See Joseph in Genesis 50:20) Don’t skip the pit and prison… these are the best parts of your story!

4) Pray for brevity. This one is as overlooked as it is underestimated.

“Brevity is the soul of wit.” (William Shakespeare, Hamlet) Most pastors and leaders have little trouble filling the allotted time, and then some. The question is, with what? Add a little “shortening” for just the right recipe.

5) Pray to challenge well. Deep down people want to count for something and someone greater than themselves. What they don’t need is more information. They need challenged to be and do better in Christ.

What suggestions would you give concerning the covering of your messages in prayer? Share your thoughts in the discussion thread below!

How can we partner in a leadership retreat, PEAK Pastors conference or ongoing coaching relationship? Email me at tompelt1@gmail.com and find more information at www.tompelt.com I look forward to connecting with you!

Excerpt from PEAK Pastors – Prayer

4 Essentials of Sermon Prep

imgres-6Whether you are a seasoned veteran of the pulpit or are sweating your first sermon series, solid sermon preparation doesn’t simply happen. I am still surprised by the temptation in the busyness of church leadership, and by my ability to procrastinate one of the most important and sacred responsibilities. Okay, not so surprised by the latter… you get the point.

Here are 4 Essentials of Sermon Preparation that help keep pastors purposed about preaching…

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” – Paul

(2 Timothy 2:15, NIV)

Purposed Time. Plan your optimal time of day. This is when your brain is most active and your spirit most open to what God wants to say through you.

Purposed Place. Plan your optimal environment. This is where you are at your creative best. Hint: Get out of the office!

Purposed People. Partner with your optimal team. This is who you can partner with to communicate the message best.

Purposed Prayer.  Prepare with your optimal source. This is what it takes to add the essential intangible that is the Holy Spirit’s presence.

Peak Thinking: “People have an idea that the preacher is an actor on a stage and they are the critics, blaming or praising him. What they don’t know is that they are the actors on the stage; he (the preacher) is merely the prompter standing in the wings, reminding them of their lost lines.” ― Søren Kierkegaard

Peak Pause: How much preparation time do you spend on each sermon or teaching session? 1-3 hours ____  4-6 ____  7-10 hours ____ 11+ hours ____

What is your best source of inspiration when it comes to preaching/teaching preparation?

Share your thoughts in the Reply section below.

How can we partner in a leadership retreat, PEAK Pastors conference or ongoing coaching relationship. Email me at tompelt1@gmail.com or find more information at www.tompelt.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

Excerpt from PEAK Pastors – Preaching

What Pastors Think While Preaching

images-2Ever wonder what your pastor thinks while preaching? Keeping in mind that your pastors are just people, here’s a lighter look at what might be going through their minds.

Top 10 things pastors think while preaching…

1) I hope I pronounce, “Jaareoregim,” right.

2) Wonder what they fought about on the way here?

3) Wow. Thought that was a killer line. (crickets)

4) He’s asleep already? 

5) I’m pretending not to hear that phone ringing… again.

6) Okay, that made no sense! Where was I?

7) Hey, they’re new. (Last Sunday was so much better... shoot!

8) I knew I should have gone before I got up here.

9) I hope the tech team can edit that out.

10) Even I’m bored! How do I land this plane?

Those are a few of the less-than-spiritual thoughts I’ve had over the years! How about you? What goes through your mind while speaking? If you aren’t a preacher, what are you thinking while your pastor is speaking?  Share your thoughts in the Reply section below…