The Most Important Hours in a Pastor’s Week

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How much time per week does the average pastor spend preparing a sermon? A few years ago, Thom Rainer conducted an unscientific survey on Twitter to find out. Of those polled, 47% spent somewhere between 13 and 18 hours a week preparing a single sermon.

Remember, this question was about preparing just one sermon. Many pastors, Rainer reported, spend 30 hours or more preparing messages every week.

Those hours are often invisible to the congregation, but they are immensely important to the vitality of the local church.

We created Logos 6 with pastors and preachers in mind. It’s specially designed to make your sermon prep more efficient and insightful. Logos 6 won’t write your sermon for you, and it’s not a shortcut, but it will help you make the most of those precious 13–18 (or 30+!) hours.

With Logos 6, we’ve built on the legacy of earlier Logos versions, creating a number of new features that are perfectly suited for pastors and preachers who prepare sermons week in and week out. And until July 11, you can get 10% off any Logos 6 base package.

See your personalized base package recommendation and get 10% off.

Here are 5 ways Logos 6 can help you maximize your sermon prep time.

Start your sermon series with a bird’s-eye view

Imagine you’re planning a sermon series on the Psalms. (Or perhaps a series on select Psalms—otherwise you may be preaching that series for the rest of your ministry!) Before you launch into a book study, it’s important to understand how the entire book fits together. That’s especially true for a book like Psalms, which includes many different authors and genres. You’ll want to examine key themes, authorship, date of composition, history of interpretation, and more. You know the drill.

Logos 6 Bible Book Guides provide the perfect starting place for a sermon series on any biblical book. You’ll find relevant information drawn from across a comprehensive theological library. It’s an excellent resource for wrapping your mind around the main themes of a book before diving into the details.

Watch how it works.

Grasp the significance of biblical poetry

As you begin your sermon series with a message on Psalm 1, you may ask yourself about its authorship and genre, and question how it relates to the rest of the Psalter. You know that the psalmists often use poetic elements such as parallelism and chiasm to emphasize key themes, but you may struggle to identify those structures.

The new Psalms Explorer provides an intuitive, interactive, visual guide to answering these and many more questions. See the Psalms Explorer in action below.

See your personalized base package recommendation and get 10% off.

Understand passages in historical and literary context

You’re halfway through your study of Psalm 1. You have a sense of the song’s poetic structure, and have identified its key themes. You’ve consulted many of your most trusted commentaries, and a rough homiletical outline is already forming in your mind. But then you wonder, “How did early interpreters understand this psalm?” Many of your commentaries mentioned that this psalm serves as an introduction to the entire Psalter. How far back does this understanding go? Did the ancient Hebrews see Psalm 1 as a preface to the rest of the book?

Answers to these questions can be found in ancient literature, but getting to that information can be a challenge, unless you happen to know ancient semitic literature like the back of your hand.

For the rest of us, there’s Logos.

Logos’ team of biblical experts has painstakingly tagged relevant ancient literature so you can find answers in just a few clicks. The Ancient Literature tool helps you connect your passage to references, allusions, and shared themes across ancient texts, unearthing obscure yet powerful connections.

See it in action below.

See your personalized base package recommendation and get 10% off.

Search the underlying Hebrew or Greek without leaving your English Bible

Eventually you circle back around to verse three and are struck by the word “planted.” What is the significance that this tree is “planted by streams of water?” You wonder, “How have other biblical writers used this term?”

With Inline Search, you can search the underlying Hebrew without leaving your English Bible. When you right click on the word and select the inline search option, you quickly see that the same term is used in Jeremiah 17 in a passage that clearly alludes to this Psalm.

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From there you can use the Exegetical Guide and the Bible Word Study tool to further understand the significance of this word. Is it noteworthy that BDB defines this lemma “to transplant”? (Hint: I think so!) You’ll have to study its usage in context to find out—and Inline Search makes that much simpler.

See what else you can do with Inline Search in the video below.

Create sermon slides in a few clicks

As your sermon begins to come together, you may want to create slides for your presentation. With Visual Copy, you can do that right inside Logos. In just a few clicks, create a slide featuring a striking quote, verses from the passage you’re preaching, or media from across your library. Visual Copy includes templates created by professional designers, so you can be confident your presentation will look its best. (And even if you don’t use sermon slides, Visual Copy is perfect for sharing quotes, verses, and insight with your congregation via social media. You can do it as you study, right from Logos.)

Watch how it works.

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Some of the most important hours of your week are spent preparing sermons. See what Logos can do to help you make the most of that time. See your personalized base package recommendation and get 10% off today.

Comments

  1. I met the Lord around 35 years ago. Since that time I have developed a deep commitment with Scripture. Then I went into ministry, study my BTh, a master and a PhD in Biblical studies. I have been a bible teacher and a preacher for around 35 years. Around 1992, there was a shift in my personal approach to the Bible. I quite studying for individual sermons and began a more systematic study of Scripture. I began by focusing in individual books and then in groups like the Pentateuch, Prophets, poetic books, John´s writings, Pauline epistles, etc. I have been trying first to soak my mind and heart into the Word and then saturating my mind and heart with Scripture. Grabbing book´s literary structures and preaching directly from the text. I have been soaking myself in innertextuality and intertextuality. Nowadays I teach biblical Hebrew, hermeneutics, Expository preaching, etc.