Sermon prep

    my sermon notebook

    For the last three weeks now, I have been preaching from a handwritten manuscript. After trying to work from a detailed outline instead, it is good to be back to writing out everything I intend to say. I am able to think more clearly on paper and I am also able to say things more clearly when I’ve written them out.

    This has helped to bring down my sermon length but also to help me stick to the what & why1 of my sermon. I have also found Sunday mornings less stressful as I am able to read through my script focusing on how I will say the things that I have written rather than also trying to figure out the words that I will use.

    But as a stationery geek, my favourite thing about doing this (and the reason why I hope to keep it going) is that I now have a notebook that is filling up with sermons. I love notebooks as objects and this one feels special now as well. I’m able to use the index in a way that will actually help me in the future and I am less relient on technology in the pulpit.

    So that I’m not constantly turning pages while preaching, I opted for the larger B5-sized Leuchtturm1917 with a dot-grid.

    The title and headings are written big in blue. I denote subheadings with a box around it, and the main body of my sermon is written used a green-black ink (Noodlers Zhivago). Scripture references that I intend to read out are noted in either an orange/brown (Diamine Ancient Copper) or a classic blue (Diamine Kensington Blue, one of the most well-behaved inks I have ever used).

    On Sunday mornings when I look over my notes, I mark up my script with a red Uni-ball One 0.38 gel pen. I then write down the passage and title in the index and I’m good to go.

    The script itself has averaged about 7-8 pages and that takes me around 35 minutes to get through. I stick fairly close to it but not as much as before I worked with an outline.


    1. I should write about this at some point. In brief, the what is the main message of the passage while the why is the application or implication for us today. ↩︎

    This part of Genesis has arrived. (Photo is of a page in volume 2 of Gordon Wenham’s commentary on Genesis.)

    Bank Holiday so bit of a later, more relaxed start to looking at the passage I’ll be preaching in Sunday. Genesis 17 is a big chapter and it’s going to make for another interesting kids talk the following week…

    One of the ways that I force myself to slowdown while studying a passage to preach is I write out the whole thing longhand. It’s an excuse to use nice stationery and to keep my handwriting in check. This week’s passage is Genesis 11:10-32.

    Another script written. I’m quite far behind on reading for my training course so I’m looking forward to having a guest preacher for the last week of October. In the meantime, I’m really excited to preach the genealogy in Genesis 5.

    For the very first time, I have managed to get a coffee stain on one of my commentaries. I guess now I know how to tell if it’s my copy of Wenham on Genesis 1-15 or someone else.

    Sermon prep this week

    Preparing to preach Genesis 3. I’ve got a Traveler’s Notebook for initial observations, an ESV Genesis scripture journal for highlights and some structure stuff, and commentaries by Calvin, Wenham, Kidner, and a pre-published one by another pastor here in Scotland.

    Eventually this all makes its way into my Obsidian vault. Then it becomes a script written using Ulysses.