5 Tips to Prepare Sermons a Year in Advance

5 Tips on Preparing Sermons a Year in Advance. Adam Hamilton, pastor of the largest United Methodist Church in the US, The Church of the Resurrection shares some techniques that have contributed to his success.

I’ve read several great books related to the church, one such book that I believe every new preacher needs to have in their library is by Adam Hamilton, “Leading Beyond the Walls.”

Several pastors with large churches have written books stating that they prepare their sermons in as much as two years in advance. I use to wonder how in the world they could do that. It takes me an entire week to get a single sermon ready for a Sunday morning.

Adam Hamilton describes in his book how this is accomplished. I would like to review in this blog:

  • The purpose and goal of preaching a sermon
  • Model How Jesus Preached
  • Sermons Prepared a Year in Advance
  • List a brief summary of Adam Hamilton’s, ‘The Five Aims of Preaching’

I know that you may not have time to read his book and I hope that this blog serves to highlight helpful tips to spark your creativity in preparing  your sermons. In a future blog I will expand on the chapter dealing with Adam Hamiliton’s The Five Aims of Preaching.

The Purpose and goal of Preaching a Sermon

A pastor’s task in preaching a sermon is to inspire, motivate, teach spiritual truths, and challenge people to do something about their faith.

Model How Jesus Preached

Jesus’ sermons were preserved in the Gospels and included: spiritual truths, relevant stories, prophecies, practical facts dealing with real life issues: marriage, divorce, sin, worry, hatred and forgiveness, etc. His message had a sense of urgency, conviction, and He taught persons how to connect with God (prayer, fasting, worship and giving).

Sermons Prepared a Year in Advance

In reading Hamilton book, I determined that he looks at the year and outlines his yearly schedule identifying five  sermon types, this coupled with assessing the needs of his congregation is how Hamilton begins the process of developing his series for the year.

The Five Aims of Preaching

1. EvangelisLeading Beyond Wallstic Sermons

– “Fishing Expedition Sermons” These are very basic sermons designed specifically for the unchurched during Christmas and Easter times.

Hamilton describes what his church does to ensure they come back the second week of January by offering a series that addresses issues the unchurched have. These strategies make it very easy for his members to invite guests.

2. Discipleship Sermons

– Sermons that help people to become committed and mature disciples. Hamilton preaches “how-to” sermons such as how-to be an effective Christian, how-to pray and how-to use video to help people understand concepts.

3. Equipping & Sending Sermons

– These sermons are aimed at equipping members for service inspiring them to listen to God’s calling upon their lives and create opportunities for them to act.

4. Pastoral Care Sermons

– There are a host of pastoral care issues (marriage, divorce, infidelity, illness, alcoholism, job loss, grief, etc.) in any church. These sermons address a variety of issues that provide real hope and help to those who are broken.

5. Institutional Development Sermons

– These well-timed sermons include the reiteration of the church purpose, the needs of the church, the casting or recasting of vision and stewardship. To inspire and motivate members, illustrations and testimonies are included to demonstrate how the church has touched the lives of so many.

I pray that this snippet of the chapter on preaching was helpful. Look out for future blogs where I will be expanding some additional insights on Hamilton’s Five Aims of Preaching.


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