I have a routine when I am preparing my message for Sunday morning. But something that has immeasurable impact when crafting my sermons is something I do outside of my set sermon prep time.
That “something” is regularly reading.
Now reading commentaries, and the Scriptures I am pulling from for my sermon is a given in rigid prep time, but what I am talking about happens in the morning when I wake up or in the evening right before I go to bed.
Regularly reading helps me produce illustrations, manage content, and grow as a communicator.
I am talking about reading a book (physical copy, e-reader, tablet, phone) and not just preaching books or theology books, but biographies, fiction, historical non-fiction or anything you are interested in. There is an inherent value in that information whether it sparks an a lifelong interest or maybe it hands you a story on a platter to share with your congregation.
When you read consistently you have a wealth of information stored in your brain that can access anytime, and while preparing a message this is a key skill.
It doesn’t end at just reading books though.
Regularly reading local news, national news, global news can be a big help as well.
A communicator should be relevant and one way to achieve relevancy is to stay up to date on the news that are affecting people. The news is, in principle, story, and a good story is always something a communicator needs.
Another place to read effectively is blogs.
Here at RookiePreacher we give a set of impactful links every Saturday morning, so if you need a place to start, start HERE.
Reading what people in your profession, or other communicators or storytellers or people you disagree with is vital in your well-roundedness as a communicator. As preachers we have a responsibility to continually and consistently improve at our craft.
Blogs are a good way to filter through other professionals’ thoughts and figure out which principles, pieces, and particulars can most benefit you as a communicator.
I completely agree with the principle that an isolated communicator is most likely going to be an ineffective communicator.
One way to branch out effectively as a communicator is to read consistently. Books, newspapers, blogs, anything to stimulate learning and connection to culture within you are effective ways to improve.
Be sure to be a good steward of time when reading, reading something that is invaluable or empty can end up being a huge waste of time. Try to evaluate the best you can whether or not a source is going to be valuable to your mind, work, and communication before you spend hours with it.
Reading consistently from many sources can have a valuable impact on your communication.
This is why reading consistently is a underrated and rewarding tool in sermon preparation.
So start reading consistently today!