Looking to improve your productivity during your sermon prep? Look no further. In his book 8 Hours or Less, Ryan Huguley breaks down his very disciplined and practical day by day sermon prep plan that helps him deliver faithful sermons each Sunday.
Monday – Build the Frame – 2 hours
Tuesday – Open the Door – 1 hr
Getting help from others
Wednesday – Sweat the Intro – 1 hr
“Intro gets everyone on the right bus and in the right seat for the journey God’s called you to take them on.”
Thursday – Land the Plane – 1 hr
Friday – Fill in the Frame – 2 hours
Finish your preaching notes
Sunday – Finish Strong – 1 hr
Prepare and prime to preach
When I heard Ryan was coming out with a book, I had to get my hands on it. I have known Ryan ever
since I became a Christian. Over the years I have seen God’s hand and grace in growing Ryan into a faithful preacher of God’s Word and loving pastor. I remember asking Ryan for a definition of the gospel for a paper I was writing back in college. He was the only pastor out of five (I believe) that gave me an answer that made sense, was biblical, and didn’t take long to articulate. Ryan is the real deal and it is worth your time to learn from him. Go out and buy this book!
Why is this book important?
Huguley saw the need for a change in his prep due to the continual cycle of prepping for a sermon the whole week, preaching on Sunday, and then having to do it all over again. Sermon prep is hard. It takes work, but he argues that it shouldn’t consume your week. He states, “Preaching is war. Each week we work with the Holy Spirit to battle for the hearts, minds, and affections of those God has entrusted to us.”
By giving ourselves deadlines we tend to get things done and become more focused. The dangers that pastors face with the week ahead of them are to either procrastinate until later on the week and be underprepared or to study too much where they spend much time in books and neglect other important things. Both of these dangerous habits develop less of a reliance on God’s Spirit and more on what we can do.
I understand that the responsibility of pastors is to devote themselves to prayer and ministry of the word (Acts 6:4), but this does not excuse them to shepherd the flock (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2) and more importantly their family (1 Timothy 3:5). By not being disciplined with our time we are unable to care for our sheep and our families.
You don’t have to follow each step exactly how Ryan does it, but this book will give you a framework and motivation to cut down wasted time in order to become a more balanced pastor.
What I learned:
“Before we start to study, before we crack the commentary, before we write one word, we need to beg God to do what we simply can’t.”
“Don’t settle for something only you can understand. Work through complexity to arrive at simplicity. God will be honored, and your church will be served well.”
“Nothing makes our preaching more distinctly Christian than preaching Christ. In fact, if you’re not determined to preach Christ, the rest of us would ask you to quit because you’re hurting our cause. A sermon without Christ is worthless, so preach Christ — and preach Him every week.”
“The only true power a preacher has is that of the One preached. We need His help, His power, His unction. So let’s storm the throne of God and humbly ask Him to supply it.”
Huguley explains what faithful sermons are:
– Saturated In Scripture
– Christ Centered
– Culturally Contextualized
– Directed to the Whole Person
– Proclaimed Boldly
Highlighting sermon notes:
– Main points in blue
– Illustrations in green
– Textual comments yellow
– Points of application is pink
– Word for word transitions in orange
You can buy this book for a great price on Amazon.