Questions to Ask During Sermon Prep

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  1. Did I start my sermon prep at the beginning of the week and meditate daily on the passage? Ps. 2:1
  2. Have I prayed and asked for God’s help? If not, have I stopped to confess the sin of self-reliance?
  3. Have I thoroughly studied the passage at hand, and am I sure that I understand it? 2 Tim. 2:15
  4. Have I looked long enough to see the beauty and glory in the passage, and am I delighted and excited by it?
  5. Have I consulted the fathers, Reformers, and best modern commentators, citing them when appropriate? Prov. 11:14
  6. Have I connected the passage to the rest of the book and to the rest of the Bible, paying close attention to cross-references and the theological unity of Scripture?
  7. Have I connected it especially to Jesus, who is the center of the Bible, taking time to magnify and exalt the Son of God and only Savior of the world? Lk. 24:27
  8. Have I connected it to the great commandments to love God and others, exhorting the church to press on in holiness, yet not in a moralistic way? Mt. 22:40
  9. Am I locally focused, applying this passage to the unique needs of my congregation, or have I been distracted by vain and grandiose ambitions? 1 Pet. 5:2
  10. Have I connected it with the coming kingdom and life of the world to come, where we will behold God forever in the new heavens and earth in which righteousness dwells? 2 Pet. 3:13
  11. Am I clear and articulate, or are some things vague and muddy?
  12. Am I concise, or are there unnecessary words, sentences, and paragraphs in my manuscript?
  13. Are there carefully crafted, memorable and quotable lines throughout? Acts 18:24
  14. Does my tone match the tone of the passage?
  15. Is my sermon beautiful and compelling?
  16. Have I prayed throughout my preparation? 1 Thess. 5:17
  17. Have I prayed for those who will hear my sermon? Acts 6:4
  18. Am I practicing what I preach? If not, am I prepared to confess it and proceed with added humility? Mt. 23:3
Johnathan Arnold
Johnathan Arnold is a husband, father, and aspiring pastor-theologian, as well as the founder and president of holyjoys.org. You can connect with him on Twitter @jsarnold7.