I just finished my pre-preach with our music & worship pastor Mike Brandow (twitter.com/mikebrandow). Mike has definitely brought up the level of excellence in our Sunday morning gatherings, and part of that is pre-preaching. It’s exactly what it sounds like. I preach my message, and he listens, takes notes, and looks for ways to increase clarity and and how we can communicate our message with more creativity. It’s a great exercise and it’s helped me for several reasons.
1) It forces me to finish my sermon early. I don’t live well with anxiety over uncompleted tasks. We are currently 2 weeks ahead on our sermon prep. So I didn’t go over this Sunday’s sermon, I went over next Sunday’s sermon. Now I can tweak it and improve it, but I can also cut things that are unclear. I don’t want to be writing my sermon on Saturday night because that’s not how my brain works. Knowing that I have the bulk of this message done is a huge relief.
2) It forces me to think bigger picture. I need to see how my sermon relates to last weeks sermon and the week after. Doing a pre-preach helps me ensure that I’m not preaching a sermon that doesn’t have continuity with the arch of our teaching series.
3) Practice is good, and early practice is better. If I didn’t do this pre-preach I would not be naturally inclined to read my sermons out loud to anyone. Sermons are not really meant to be read in your head, they are designed to be heard. I need to know how the sermon sounds, what people hear. And this practice give me a chance to do that.
Pastors, I would challenge you to schedule in a regular pre-preach. It’s been a great help to me and i think Creekside is stronger because of this simple practice.