Why Should You Ask for Help with Preaching?
In today’s culture, the do-it-yourself mentality reigns supreme. We love hearing stories of self-made successes and lone wolves who overcome all odds. But the truth is, we all need help now and then.
As a pastor, you know this to be true. In fact, much of your job is taken up by people seeking out your help. So why wouldn’t you look to others for help as well?
In this blog, we will look at 3 things that asking for help can mean for you:
There are certainly misconceptions about asking for help. Not everyone is quick to raise a hand when they’re struggling or stumped. But the best and most successful leaders are usually the quickest to indicate they need a hand. Why is that? Because they usually also have a strong sense of self-confidence.
When you ask for help, you are not saying you are not good enough. You are just saying the current problem is bigger than any one person. It also doesn’t mean you aren’t the right person for the job. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re not fully equipped to handle the pressure.
God has given you everything you need for ministry, including a great group of people around you.
Last on the list of areas that pastors ask for help is in their sermon. Maybe it’s because sermons are such personalized products, much like an author with a book. Or perhaps it’s the stigma that preachers should be able to do it all.
Either way, when you ask for help with preaching you aren’t showing signs of weakness. Instead, you’re exhibiting strengths of growth.
Want your sermons to get better every single week? Check out It Takes a Team to learn about 4 teams you can build or involve in your sermons.
There are a few different ways that others can help you with preaching.
For instance, have you ever considered engaging a volunteer research assistant, someone who can give you a head start on each week’s sermon prep?
Or what about starting up a teaching team at your church where people who believe in you can speak to various aspects of your communication. Some churches might even have skilled preachers in their congregation. Of if they have more than one staff member, one of those folks could share some responsibilities with preaching and its preparation, even if they’re not the one preaching?
And chances are you already have help with creative ideas including graphics, staging, and video.
One other area of help is continuing training.
Some pastors have had formal exposure to homiletics in seminary. Others come from a different professional background and have had zero training at all. Whatever case you fit into, there is always the need to continually improve on the things you already do well.
Let me share with you three things that asking for help can mean for you. Not only will it improve your sermon in the short term, but it will fortify your ministry long-term in some very specific ways.
1. More Help Means More Time
When you have help with your sermon prep, you’ll find out that you end up with more time. It’s true that two are better than one. That doesn’t mean that you cut your time in half. What I’ve found is that the math is exponential. You could actually cut your own prep time by a fourth if you have someone else give you a leg up before you even start.
What does more time mean? Well, for one you can focus on the other parts of your ministry that need your attention, that fill your bucket, or that you could never do before because of too much time spent in sermon prep. It also means you have more time spending with family or resting and refueling. That makes you a better minister.
2. More Help Means More P.O.V.s
When you have more people in the room, you have more points of view. You can only bring to the table what you’ve personally experienced. As other people help out, they give you their own personal take as well.
Those points of view can be educational and theological. But they can also be part of their lived experiences, and their personal testimonies. You can get a perspective from both male and female views. You can learn what someone less advantaged or more advantaged feels about the text. As you start asking others to share, you’ll see how much it really adds.
When you have more points of view, your reach will multiply. It’s often been said that people can only reach those who they are just like. While I don’t think that’s true, having extra points of view will definitely make you more sensitive to the multiple backgrounds of your audience.
Have you ever sat down to write your message for the weekend and realized you don’t know where to start? Take a look at the Sermon Starters PDF for a multitude of effective strategies to get you started.
3. More Help Means More Influence
As a pastor, you can use your preaching ministry as a way to grow your staff. When you bring more staff members or ministers-in-training into the room, they will grow. They get to see how you prepare a sermon. They get to learn from your years of training and experience.
Growing a staff is one the best ways to grow your church’s influence. You can’t do it all alone, pastor. You know that’s true. By asking for help, you’re actually helping build a team that can reach a city.
Think about how much more your church can do with a larger staff of key team members. I don’t mean just more activities and programs. I’m talking about the effectiveness of each person. As you sow into their lives, they will invest in the lives around them. And the whole church grows.
Asking for help can be anything from hiring a consultant or research assistant, to creating a dedicated team that focuses solely on sermons. However you land on this wide range of options, know that it won’t be perfect overnight. There will be starts and stops and potential problems along the way. You might have to reevaluate how your team works together and how you work with them.
I want to encourage you to stick with it. The rewards greatly outweigh the work to get you there. Once you experience the benefits of asking for help yourself, you’ll never want to go back to doing it all alone again.
Check out these blogs on preaching, as well.
It Takes a Team to Create Sermons
Sermon Illustrations: Finding the “Just Right One”
The Top 5 Preaching Questions Asked
How to Preach Online and In Person
Emotionally Healthy Preaching
Doug Clay on Preaching Sermons Online
5 Ways to Get That Sermon Started
Practical Tips on How To Do Sermon Prep
Preaching for Life Change
Fighting the “Last Minute” Fatigue
The 3 Parts of an Altar Call
2 Preaching Lessons Learned from COVID-19
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