Preaching Articles

Sermon prep and sermon writing can be hard. Often times, it can even be painful. Anything seems better to be doing when we get stuck in a sermon prep and writing rut. But we all know that the work is worth it. The pain is worth it. The plodding is worth it.

We’ve all been there, right? We know what passage we’re preaching on and we’ve worked through what it meant then and how it can apply (broadly) today. But the blank screen or page stares at us – taunting us. We find ourselves at a loss for good illustrations or a personal story to engage the congregation in the beginning. By all accounts, we’re stuck in a sermon prep and writing rut. So what should we do?

3 Things to Do When You’re Stuck in a Sermon Prep and Writing Rut


1. Take a Step Down – Prayer

Prayer is a constant conversation through sermon prep and writing, but when we’re in a rut, we just need to take a step down and get out of the way.

Admit your frustration.

Ask God what His heart is in this passage.

Ask Him to show you how to communicate His grace and truth in this time where you are.

Ask Him to take over in the process and humble you enough so you’re willing to follow.

Thank God for the gospel.

Then spend some time in silence. Take some deep breaths and just be with Him and listen.

2. Take a Step Out – Change Your Environment

In some seasons, you’ll find that your office is the best place to prepare and write sermons. But when you are neck-deep inside a sermon prep and writing rut, a great way to catapult out of it is to change your environment.

Instead of staying stuck in your present environment, take a step out and find a different location to prep and write. Ask any creative you know and you’ll probably hear the same thing – changing your environment can make a difference when you’re in a rut.

Here are some ideas for where you could go to get that needed environmental change.

  • Go for a walk and talk through the text with yourself and God.
  • Go to a local coffee shop. I’ve been doing this more and more.
  • Go to your local library.
  • Go to a local park. Many covered pavilions have electric access if you need to bring your computer.

3. Take a Step Back – Get Out of Your Thinking Box

There are a number of ways you can do this, but one I find most helpful is to pull out a blank piece of paper or use a whiteboard and write out the big idea of the text. This could be a single word or a short phrase.

Write that word or that phrase in the middle of your writing canvas.

Circle it.

Now, we’re going to do the fun work of looking for all the connections we can find to that word or phrase.

I’ll attempt to show you how this works through bullet points, but keep in mind that we’re doing this visually.

To be clear, you’ll have the word or phrase circled in the middle with lines going from it to broad ideas and then lines going from those broad ideas to more specific ideas.

Here we go:

Big Idea

  • Environments
    • Home
    • Work
    • Vacation
    • School
    • Hobbies
    • Online
       
  • Follow Big Idea
    • Result
    • Result
    • Result
       
  • Don’t Follow Big Idea
    • Result
    • Result
    • Result
       
  • Relationships
    • Spouse
    • Kids
    • Parents
    • Friends
    • Church
    • Community

Depending on the big idea, this will look vastly different. The goal, though, is to look for all the ways the big idea can/will/does impact every crevice of our lives.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll likely have some ideas for personal stories, other illustrations, potential action steps, and other application points.

For some more ideas to get out of the box and be more creative, check out this article where I share 3 ways we can boost our preaching creativity.

Brandon Kelley serves at a fast-growing church plant in Batavia, Ohio (east side of Cincinnati) called The Crossing in the role of Outreach & Communications Pastor. He loves to learn and write about preaching and leadership. Connect with him on Twitter.

Browse All

Related Preaching Articles

Talk about it...

Robert Jennifer

commented on Dec 31, 2017

My Name is jennifer am from London..I never believed in Love Spells or Magics until I met this special spell caster when i contacted this man called .Dr akhere.He is really powerful..My husband divorced me with no reason for almost 5 years and i tried all i could to have him back because i really love him so much but all my effort did not work out.. we met at our early age at the college and we both have feelings for each other and we got married happily for 4 years with two kids and he woke up one morning and he told me he is going on a divorce..i thought it was a joke and when she came back from work she tender to me a divorce letter and he packed all his properties from our house..i ran mad and i tried all i could to have her back but all did not work out..i was lonely for almost 5years.So when i told the spell caster what happened he said he will help me and he asked for his full name and her picture..i gave him that..At first i was skeptical but i gave it a try cos have tried so many spell casters and there is no solution.so when he finished with the readings,he got back to me that she’s with a man and that man is the reason why she left me.The spell caster said he will help me with a spell that will surely bring her back.but i never believe all this.he told me i will see a positive result within 24 hour..24 hour later after the spell has been casted,he called me himself and came to me apologizing and she told me she will come back to me..I cant believe this,it was like a dream cos i never believe this will work out after trying many spell casters and there is no solution..The spell caster is so powerful and after that he helped me with a pregnancy spell and my wife got pregnant again ..we are now happy been together again and with lovely kids..This spell caster has really changed my life and i will forever be thankful to her..he has helped many friends too with similar problem and they are happy and thankful to her..This man is indeed the most powerful spell caster have ever experienced in life..Am Posting this to the Forum in case there is anyone who has similar problem and still looking for a way out. Get your scam money back Bring back lost lover, even if lost for a long time Remove bad spells from homes, business & customer attraction etc. Get promotion you have desired for a long time at work or in your career. Read all your problems before you even mention them to him Remove the black spot that keeps on taking your money away Find out why you are not progressing in life and the solution Eliminate in family fights Ensure excellent school grades even for children with mental disabilities Stop your marriage or relationship from breaking apart I destroy and can send back the Nikolos if requested heal barrenness in women and disturbing menstruation Get you marriage to the lover of your choice Guarantee you win the troubling court cases & divorce no matter how what stage Ensure success in work and business Mental illness & bewitched Can?t sleep at night or walking at night Recover stolen property and whereabouts of people that hurt you. Bring supernatural luck into Pregnancy spell to conceive baby you can reach him here... AKHERETEMPLE@gmail.com

Robert Jennifer

commented on Dec 31, 2017

My Name is jennifer am from London..I never believed in Love Spells or Magics until I met this special spell caster when i contacted this man called .Dr akhere.He is really powerful..My husband divorced me with no reason for almost 5 years and i tried all i could to have him back because i really love him so much but all my effort did not work out.. we met at our early age at the college and we both have feelings for each other and we got married happily for 4 years with two kids and he woke up one morning and he told me he is going on a divorce..i thought it was a joke and when she came back from work she tender to me a divorce letter and he packed all his properties from our house..i ran mad and i tried all i could to have her back but all did not work out..i was lonely for almost 5years.So when i told the spell caster what happened he said he will help me and he asked for his full name and her picture..i gave him that..At first i was skeptical but i gave it a try cos have tried so many spell casters and there is no solution.so when he finished with the readings,he got back to me that she’s with a man and that man is the reason why she left me.The spell caster said he will help me with a spell that will surely bring her back.but i never believe all this.he told me i will see a positive result within 24 hour..24 hour later after the spell has been casted,he called me himself and came to me apologizing and she told me she will come back to me..I cant believe this,it was like a dream cos i never believe this will work out after trying many spell casters and there is no solution..The spell caster is so powerful and after that he helped me with a pregnancy spell and my wife got pregnant again ..we are now happy been together again and with lovely kids..This spell caster has really changed my life and i will forever be thankful to her..he has helped many friends too with similar problem and they are happy and thankful to her..This man is indeed the most powerful spell caster have ever experienced in life..Am Posting this to the Forum in case there is anyone who has similar problem and still looking for a way out. Get your scam money back Bring back lost lover, even if lost for a long time Remove bad spells from homes, business & customer attraction etc. Get promotion you have desired for a long time at work or in your career. Read all your problems before you even mention them to him Remove the black spot that keeps on taking your money away Find out why you are not progressing in life and the solution Eliminate in family fights Ensure excellent school grades even for children with mental disabilities Stop your marriage or relationship from breaking apart I destroy and can send back the Nikolos if requested heal barrenness in women and disturbing menstruation Get you marriage to the lover of your choice Guarantee you win the troubling court cases & divorce no matter how what stage Ensure success in work and business Mental illness & bewitched Can?t sleep at night or walking at night Recover stolen property and whereabouts of people that hurt you. Bring supernatural luck into Pregnancy spell to conceive baby you can reach him here... AKHERETEMPLE@gmail.com

Join the discussion