Sermons that nourish require slow cooking.

– Kent Anderson

You may be the person who plans an entire year’s worth of talks without blinking an eye (by purchasing them on DYM!). Or you may be pretty sure what you’re going to talk on next Wednesday night sometime on Tuesday. Or somewhere in-between.

If you’re a youth pastor who wants to write your own messages, let me challenge you to think about how you go about writing a series in a new way!

Instead of only looking at the youth ministry talk you’re doing next, look at the series as a whole. Or if you’re teaching through a book of the Bible, look at the entire book all at once!

This way, you get a better sense of what each talk will be and how they fit into the whole series.

Have you ever finished a talk and thought “Oh man, I should have told THIS story because it would have helped me set up next week!” Well, the “crock-pot” method will help!

Here’s what I do:

I look at the series I’m going to be teaching. Like this summer we’re doing a study on Joseph. So we’ll be studying Genesis 37-45.

Then I borrowed (aka, stole) Doug Field’s method of teaching:

Pain: Why should they listen to me?

Passage: What does God say?

Point: What’s the BIG idea?

Path: What do I want them to do when they leave?

For each part of this four part teaching method, I fill out a quick sentence or two as I’m reading the whole story of Joseph from the Bible. This helps me outline the WHOLE series. There’s a lot I’ll fill in or change during the week of the message, but this way I’m already thinking of where I want to land on Week 7 of our series even when I’m writing Week 1.

The Passage section is always where I focus a lot of time. But as I’m reading the Passage, I see where the Pain is, where the Point is, and what the Path should be.

Plus, during the summer, with VBS week, mission trips, and other crazy events, having my talk outlined a week (or several weeks!) ahead of time gives me the chance to be ahead of schedule instead of scrambling to catch up when I roll in from a vacation on Saturday night.

What do you think? Would preparing a series like this help you out?

Let me know!