5 Keys to Preaching Multiple Services

October 3, 2012 — 8 Comments

I’ve been told that preaching 30 minutes to an hour is equivalent to 8 hours of work.

I wasn’t sure, so I Googled it and…sure enough, that’s the word on the proverbial internet street.

See for yourselves:

The Challenges of Preaching

The Pastor’s Week

10 Things You Forget About Pastors

Not sure how that proposition can be verified.  Honestly, it sounds like the results of a study conducted by a defensive preacher who wanted to justify laziness and silence anyone who might be critical of his work ethic.

Don’t get me wrong, preaching–done right–is really hard work.  I spend 10-20 hours a week preparing my message while also juggling hours of counseling, leading my staff, returning phone calls, answering emails, going to the hospital, planning, discipling at least 3 guys, teaching, and meeting with members, Elders, and my staff, plus a myriad of other jobs or crises that “pop” up in any given week. Yes, being a preacher is hard work, but my work is not inherently harder than the work the men and women in my church family do each week–working 40-60 hours a week while also trying raise a family, maintain a house, and volunteer in a ministry.

I absolutely LOVE being a preacher and I refuse to whine about the challenges of my job because I feel blessed to be able to provide for my family, while also doing what I feel called to do.

I wouldn’t trade being a preacher for anything in the world.

And, why should I whine?  Aren’t we supposed to take up our crosses and follow him?  I don’t want an easy calling; I want it to be difficult.  I want to know, at the end of any given week, that I’ve given Christ my all and been a good steward of the ministry entrusted to me by the Elders of my church and the people in my church family.

That being said, I’m currently preaching 4 times every Sunday (our 4 services are all the same) and I’m constantly being asked, “How do you physically do that?”

It is hard.  I’m completely exhausted on Sunday nights when I’m done preaching. Now, I don’t feel like I’ve worked 32 hours straight!!!!  I don’t agree that preaching 30 minutes to an hour is the same as working 8 hours, but it does take a ton of energy to passionately deliver the same message 4 times in a row.  Sometimes, in the 4th service, I’m actually talking in my sleep.

So, here’s how I do it.  Here are some of the keys to preaching multiple services:

1. Be passionate about your message.

When the message I have to share with the people is burning within me, I feel energized each time I have the opportunity to share it.

2. Be prepared.

When I go into a Sunday realizing that I’m not as prepared as I should be, I really struggle maintaining the energy I need to preach the message multiple times.

3. Be rested.

Preaching multiple times on a Sunday requires that I go to bed early on Saturday night. I’ve been hired to preach, so I don’t have the right to stay out late on Saturday night. I owe it to my church and my calling to try to get a good night’s sleep on Saturday night.  I also try to take a nap on Sunday afternoons between our services.  I turn off my cell phone and avoid scheduling afternoon events on Sundays to protect that nap time because I view that time of rest as sacred.

4. Be healthy.

I exercise a lot.  I enjoy being healthy in general but I also exercise so I’m physically prepared for the challenges of ministering during the week and preaching 4 times a Sunday. Here’s a good article on the importance of exercising as stewardship of our bodies: What about exercise?

5. Be caffeinated.

Yes, my final key to preaching multiple services is: coffee.  Just trying to keep it real. 🙂

©2012 Arron Chambers

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8 responses to 5 Keys to Preaching Multiple Services

  1. 

    Thanks for this especially: “And, why should I whine? Aren’t we supposed to take up our crosses and follow him? I don’t want an easy calling; I want it to be difficult. I want to know, at the end of any given week, that I’ve given Christ my all and been a good steward of the ministry entrusted to me by the Elders of my church and the people in my church family.”

    My husband is an elder and together we are leading the worship team during a troubled time of transition. I needed this reminder to be joyful in these circumstances

  2. 

    A very good friend of mine (who, in my opinion, is an exceptional man), upon taking a new ministry prayed, “Lord, make this so challenging that I’ll never forget that I can’t do this without you.” God did, and he impacted incredible lives. But it was hard, and God got the honor. As He should.

    I suggest to all our staff that they dare not work less than they ask volunteers. So, if a work week is 40 hours as a staff member, and you ask volunteers for 5 or more hours a week, you should be giving at least 5 or more hours above your regular work load.

    Thanks for reminding us of the need to be good examples and responsible stewards of God’s calling.

  3. 

    I’m glad it was a blessing to you, Mary.

  4. 

    great stuff, aaron! we do miss the teaching, fellowship and worship @ Journey! our colorado chruch!

  5. 

    oops, sorry i misspelled your name, arron! i’m in the middle of a final break here in a middle school math class…. God is good, ALL THE TIME!

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