Posted by: Matt Rice | 10/10/2008

The Hardest Part of Church Planting

The hardest part about church planting has to be the weekly sermon prep. For years I have come out of the “bullpen” to preach. I had months to prepare the sermon, craft the illustrations, defend the points, and present passionately. However, as the “lead pastor” I have found my well of illustrations to be dry, my prep time to be challenging, and my confidence taking one to the chin.

Today, a “good” sermon is one click away. You can download any message on any topic or text you want these days. Those that defend this method of thinking suggest, “You cannot do everything in planting a church. Use our lessons so you can spend more time with people.” One pastor said, “If my bullets fit your gun, then fire away!”

When I was in college and was asked to preach, I would preach others stuff all the time (Thanks Clayton for that sermon…oops I didn’t tell you?).  I remember preaching a sermon I heard from a pastor only to learn later he got the sermon from somewhere else. I will say that there are really no original thoughts or messages out there. They are just packaged differently.

However, now I have a great conviction over using someone else’s sermon. The greatest (and hardest) time of the week for me is slaving over a text and then presenting it to the flock God has given me. I believe there are no shortcuts to this process or discipline.  

I am willing to take one (or two) to the chin of confidence, and preach what God has given me. And to not preach what he gave mister mega church pastor. So, I will slave over the text and ask Him to reveal to me the BIG IDEA each week.

There may be no original thoughts left, but I am using my own bullets. 

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