How to Arrive at Your Sermon Prep Breakthrough Moment


I may be totally alone in this, but my guess is that there are other pastors out there that look for this moment each week.

It's what I call the sermon prep breakthrough moment.

It's that moment when everything begins to click. It's the moment where the main idea of the passage aligns with the main idea of the sermon. It's the moment where the supporting points align with the main idea of the sermon. It's the moment where a key illustration comes to mind. It's the moment where a big call to action begins to take place. It's that moment where my heart is stirred personally.

Everything seems downhill in my sermon prep after I reach this breakthrough moment. For me personally, it takes a lot of work to get to this moment. My best guess is that about two-thirds of my time in sermon prep is working to get to this breakthrough moment, even though I write my sermon almost entirely in the final third of my sermon prep.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

So, how do I arrive at this breakthrough moment?

1. Pray. Sermon prep has to start here. You can't prepare a sermon without complete dependence on the Holy Spirit.

2. Read the passage over and over again. I love to print out the passage on a single sheet of paper. I read it over and over until it seeps deep into my heart.

3. Study and research. There are many smart people who have either studied or researched so much of the Bible. I know I don't know it all, so I love to learn from others.

4. Spend time alone with God meditating over the passage. I love to go on a run with the idea of simply hearing from God about my sermon. My wife will often ask when I return from my run, "What did God tell you while you were running?" I love spending time alone with God while reflecting on the sermon passage.

5. Write down as much as possible. That single sheet of paper that I mentioned above is where I write everything down. I always have it close by throughout my week because I never know when another piece of the sermon might come to mind.

6. Pray some more. Just because you pray first doesn't mean you don't pray again. Pray some more.

What about you?

Am I alone in this breakthrough moment? For those who prepare sermons, is this something you see each week? If so, how do you get to this breakthrough moment?

For the original article, visit

Jess Rainer is the lead pastor for The Church at Spring Hill, a church plant in a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee. He is the co-founder of Rainer Publishing. Jess is also the founder and owner of Craft Book Publishing. He is the co-author of the book, The Millennials.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.

Dr. Mark Rutland's

National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)

The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!

FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.

Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.

The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.

Charisma Leader — Serving and empowering church leaders