We often think we can be more efficient by working harder.
Scheduling more efficiently.
Studying more thoroughly.
Applying ourselves more diligently.
And there are certainly times when those strategies are effective.
But there are also times when muscling a sermon from the blank page through gritted teeth is actually counter-productive.
When more is actually less.
And when effort is not proportional to results.
Because this do-more, be-more, achieve-more mentality often squeezes out the very time and space our minds need to see things afresh, make new connections, and receive insights the Holy Spirit reveals through details we miss in our harried pace.
When we find ourselves dreading the blinking cursor at the top of our empty document, we may want to try a different tool than pure effort.
To that end, you’re invited to take our five-day challenge!
Over five days, we’ll introduce you to one extraordinarily effective tool for better “flow”—that zen-like state of productivity where the ideas come quickly, the writing proceeds elegantly, and the product materializes organically.
Childlike, wonder-filled, pressure-free play.
Ample research reveals that play is essential for creativity (we wrote more extensively about this previously).
And writing a sermon is nothing if not creative.
If you find your jaw is clenched, your breath shallow, and your shoulders tight when you begin writing your sermon, this challenge is for you.
It’s also for you if you’d simply like to find more joy in your process.
Your mind needs margins—white space, free time, even boredom—to generate creative content and birth a sermon into being.
Believe it or not, you will fill your page more efficiently, and more effectively, by taking a walk, staring out the window, doodling in a notebook, or listening to an album on your back patio.
You have permission to rest, delight, experiment, and marvel.
Walk through a museum, see a movie, or pick up a favorite book of poems. Even just five or ten minutes will spark your creative fire.
Folks loved this challenge last year, and summer is the perfect time to shake up the routine and try something novel. So we’re revisiting this popular challenge with new exercises and more fun (and a surprise at the end!).
How it Works
Every day for five days, you'll receive a new exercise in your inbox.
When it's time for you to work on any aspect of your sermon:
grab some paper and gather your pens/colored pencils/markers
fill your mug
light a candle and start some music
set a timer for ten minutes
complete the exercise
This isn't about perfection or artistry!
It's about making yourself—your whole self—available to the Holy Spirit. It will prepare and renew you while the Spirit renews your congregation with the Word of God through you.
Try this new approach for five days and see what happens. You may be surprised at what shifts in your perspective, your prep, and your preaching!
Mentorship Applications are NOW OPEN!
Our Mentorship approaches your preaching from this same wholistic perspective.
We dive deep into your backstory—the faith history, work habits, fears, delights, strengths, and weaknesses that inform your preaching—to help you embrace and embody the unique voice God has given you.
One-to-one mentor meetings, online community, sermon appraisals, small group settings, and independent work and reading will help you evaluate what’s working in your preaching life and what’s not so you can build on the positive and transform the negative.