Are You Serious About Preaching? Then you must do this.

Donald Sturrock visited a special place that few people had gone before.

Walking down the stone path from the house bordered by a recently constructed tunnel made of bamboo, Donald anticipated what he’d find.

The man opened the door to the hut and Donald went inside. Donald had the privilege of being inside author Roald Dahl’s writing hut. “A great armchair filled the tiny room,” he wrote, “Dahl frequently compared the experience of sitting there to being inside the womb or the cockpit of a Hurricane (a WWII British fighter aircraft).” The linoleum floor, old lamp, space heater, and various items strewn about the hut made it look “ramshackle and makeshift. Much of it seemed dangerous,” but Sturrock found it charming. Out of this hut emerged some of Dahl’s classic children’s books, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Fantastic Mr. Fox, to name a few. This “womb”, as Dahl compared it, birthed creative works that has touched generations of young people.**

Dahl's writing hut. Photo by Tim Milkins

Similarly, actor and comedian John Cleese of Monte Python fame dedicates time each day just for creativity. While it’s not a physical place for Cleese, he does block out time in his schedule which he calls his “Creativity Oasis.”

Where do you create? Where do you thinking creatively to prepare your sermons?

Whether it’s a dedicated place and/or a dedicated time, intentionally setting aside time with no distractions to create, think, pray, and write is necessary for serious preachers.

Personally, I block time out weekly just for sermon preparation. No distractions are permitted. No emails, texts, phone calls, Facebook, etc. are allowed unless it’s an emergency. I set the timer on my phone for 50 minutes and begin thinking, praying, studying, writing…creating. It is the most productive and effective use of my time and has produced truly inspired sermons.

After all, last night while performing improv I experienced a creativity oasis. There were no distractions, but there was focused attention on the moment, the story being told, and my scene partner…and what emerged was an incredible improvised story.

Doesn’t our sermon preparation deserve a similar dedicated time?

This week, you must block out time and a place to work on your sermon.


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