I love new year. I really do. Although I try to have a bit of a review and set some goals at the start of each month and sometimes each week, it’s good to use the start of the year to focus the mind too.
That being said, I’m not doing New Year Resolutions as such this year, but I have got some things I’m going to be thinking about and trying to do in 2020.
1. How I write sermons. I’ve heard a couple of people tell me about preachers who take a month or more to write their sermons. The idea is that you have a week dedicated to a different part of the sermon writing process. I’ve had a think about this and I’m going to give it a go for a while and see how it impacts my sermon writing. If I don’t like it, I can easily go back to taking a week or so to write sermons later on!
The plan is to spend 5 weeks writing each sermon, which will hopefully give more time for ideas and inspiration to come. I’m forever stumbling across articles, poems, other bits of scripture thinking ‘oh that would have been great for my sermon last week!’
So, Week 1 is reading week. Here I’ll mostly be mulling over the text.
Week 2 is note taking week. This will mean making notes from commentaries and on the text itself.
Week 3 is bullet pointing week. Here, the sermon will start to take shape.
Week 4 is writing week. The week to put pen to paper!
Week 5 is polishing week. This will involve edits and shining it up so it’s ready to preach.
This is pretty much what I do already, but this is stretched out over more time. I’ll let you know if it changes the way I preach!
2. Being still. If I had to give myself a word to focus in for the year, it would be stillness. There is going to be lots of change and with my drive to church being much longer come May, I think it’s more important than ever to make time to be still.
3. Daily devotion. When preaching at another church in the deanery recently, I was very excited to see that they had a book stall! I was drawn to a book of 365 daily devotions called Journey With Me by Catherine Campbell. 6 days in and I’m enjoying it immensely. Not only is the content good, but it’s been lovely to take 5 minutes for myself before I get up each morning.
4. Journaling. I recently started writing in a journal again after a couple of years off. Like with the daily devotion as I wake up, I’m aiming to take time to jot down thoughts and prayers at the end of the day.
5. #2020readingchallenge My Mum has challenged me to read a book a week over the course of 2020. It can be any kind of book, but even so, I think this is going to be the biggest struggle! But I am committed to reading for the Diocesan Rule Of Life, and I am also trying to take more time to read for pleasure. I’m hoping that this challenge will help me to do both of the above!
These aren’t so much New Years Resolutions, but intentions. I won’t be beating myself up if they don’t work out. They aren’t so much about breaking and making habits, but improving my well being and productivity.