Sermon Writer’s Block: 13 Ways to Overcome a Lack of Inspiration

The clock is ticking. The deadline must be met. But then it strikes… sermon writer’s block! Oh no!

Like every week, the church needs a sermon. A good sermon. But when you sit at the computer and open a new word doc, your mind is as blank as the page in front of you. The cursor only mocks you with its repeated blinking.

Sermon Writer's Block

Photo Credit: Eric Lukavsky cc

If you have ever been there, I feel your pain! When sermon writer’s block strikes, here are a few things I have found helpful.

13 Ways to Beat Sermon Writer’s Block

1. Read your main scripture over and over and over. Study it until it becomes part of you. The better you know the text, the easier it is to write about it.

2. Pray. Seek God first for inspiration. Cast all your anxiety on Him. This shouldn’t have to be said, but sadly many pastors write sermons about God without even talking to Him.

3. Read good commentaries. Don’t default to this. But if you are stuck on how to preach a text, commentaries are a great resource.

4. Listen to other pastors preach. Listening to other pastors preach is a great source of inspiration. Just don’t copy them!

5. Go for a walk. Get your blood flowing. Some of my best ideas for sermons come when I am not sitting at a computer. There is something about moving around that can help you think clearer.

6. Just write something. Anything. Word vomit everything you can think of. It doesn’t have to be perfect or even good at this point. Just get some words on the page. Writing can have a snowball effect. The more you write, the more ideas build. Edit later.

7. Read a good book on the subject  You don’t have to be 100% original. Borrow (and credit) ideas from people who spent years becoming experts on the subject.

8. Talk it out. Grab a few staff members. Call your spouse. Meet with pastor friend. Text an elder. Talk about the scripture you will be preaching. Ask what they would say or if they have any ideas. Sometimes it only takes one outside thought to spark the inspiration you need to get going.

9. Pray. Seek God first for inspiration. Cast all your anxiety on Him. This shouldn’t have to be said, but sadly many pastors write sermons about God without even talking to Him.

10. Ask the audience. Throw out a question to social media land. Ask people how they handle the subject. Ask what questions they have. Any stories? This is a triple threat: It involves people in the message, creates anticipation for the sermon, and gives you a peek into the minds of your audience.

11. Change location. Go to a coffee shop. The park. A restaurant. The mall. Sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery to get you in the creative mood.

12. Unplug. Turn off your email. Shut off your phone. Get off of Facebook. It is amazing how much more focused you can be without constant interruptions.

13. Take a nap. Sleep on it. Take a break. Let the sermon marinate for a while and come back later. You will feel fresh and so will your ideas.

How do you deal with sermon writer’s block?


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By | 2017-01-04T00:15:45+00:00 June 19th, 2013|