Last week, I completed my (very flexible) preaching calendar for 2013. With much prayer, I try to lay out where I think we will head as a church family over the next year. For all ministry types who might read this and have some questions, let me answer the best I can...
Some have asked why and a few have even talked about how unspiritual it seems to plan the preaching. I've never understood the objection, but let me say that I have prayed this through and it's very open to change at any moment. The reason I try to make the plans is so that I have a balance between OT and NT and so that I can let our staff know when they will be preaching.
What's on the calendar are the week by week breakdown of the texts I'll be studying and preaching, including the weeks of my vacation, etc. Some I have broken down to the actual verses themselves. Some are broader descriptions (like a 4-week series from the Psalms).
I pray. I look over notes of past years. I ask a few key people where we might need instruction or exhortation. I pray. I jot and write and scratch out and erase and pray.
And I make sure to say to myself and to my Lord that He can do what He wants to do any given week because if I'm His spokesman (in some sense), then He's the originator of the message for the people who have gathered. He's the Chief Shepherd.