One of our favorite topics to discuss on this blog is sermon prep. There are so many different strategies and tips you can implement if you want to improve your sermon preparation process. If you want to learn more about that, I would encourage you to check out our previous blog posts. But for today, I want to talk about five things you should do the night before you preach to make sure you’re ready to deliver your sermon the next day.Lock in your sermon.
In other words, try not to make any last-minute changes to your content. If you’ve been practicing this message for the last few days, you’ve become accustomed to the flow and progression of the message. Therefore, adding last-minute changes or switching around points or stories can throw you off in your delivery the next day. So unless it’s absolutely necessary, lock in your content and commit to not making any changes at the last minute.Practice one time without looking at your notes.
By the time you’ve reached the night before you preach, you should have your message mostly memorized. So as you run through the message one last time, try to do so without referencing your notes. This will make it very clear how familiar you are with your content, and it will also bring to light which parts you aren’t as comfortable with so you know when you will need to reference your notes while you’re preaching the next day.Get a good night’s sleep.
This goes without saying, but sleep is absolutely vital the night before you preach. So if you can, get to bed at a decent hour and give yourself plenty of time to wind down so you get a good night’s sleep and are well-rested when you take the pulpit the next day.Get everything else ready.
Just like your mom used to have you lay your clothes out the night before you went to school, it’s not a bad idea to get everything you need set and ready to go the night before you preach. That means picking out what you’re going to wear and making sure it’s ironed and ready to wear. It also means preparing in other ways, like deciding what you’re going to have for breakfast, and packing your bag with all of your sermon notes, tablet, computer, wallet, and anything else you’ll take with you to the church. If you take care of these things the night before, that’s one less thing you have to worry about the following morning and it will make your morning run much more smoothly.
As you know, getting up to preach each Sunday is no small task. It takes a lot of work and preparation and can often bring about a good bit of stress and anxiety, especially if you’re first starting out. But I can assure you that if you implement these four tips the night before you preach, you will feel much more prepared, confident, and at ease as you get ready to share your message the following morning.