Sermon Planning Resources for 2018

I am always on the lookout for tools that help me improve my productivity. Since sermon planning and writing is the most public aspect of pastoral ministry, and is also an activity which usually takes a significant portion of a pastor’s working hours each week, I am particularly interested in tool that help me to simplify my own sermon preparation.

In the past, I have shared some of the insights I have gleaned from Chad Brooks, over at the Productive Pastor Podcast. This really is the go-to place for learning about productivity in ministry.

One of the things productivity enthusiasts suggest is to customize whatever tools you choose and make them your own. So, for the last couple of years I have been using a modified version of Chad’s Productive Pastor Sermon Worksheet, that was modified to fit the structure I tend to use in my sermons and my preferred way of thinking through a Biblical text.

As I continue to refine my sermon writing process, I’ve found the need to simplify this tool even further for the coming year. This newest version of my worksheet removes all of the design fluff I had in earlier versions, and attempts to simplify the organization, while providing enough room for notes.

I have organized it according to the following sections:

  • What I am preaching about (Sermon Title/Text).
  • My message in one sentence (Bottom Line).
  • What they need to know (Teaching), with a section for exegetical notes.
  • What they need to do (Application).
  • Why they need to do it (Inspiration).


With experience, I am coming to agree even more fully with Andy Stanley and others that we must be crystal clear in our preaching, focusing on one point and fully explaining the text and its call to action. My hope is that this tool will be helpful to you, as well. Use it as is, or modify it, and make it your own.

Sermon Planning Worksheet 2018 (PDF)

You can also find my other resources for ministry over on the Resources and Children’s Ministry Resources pages.


Isaac Hopper

Isaac Hopper (PhD, Manchester) is a United Methodist Pastor serving churches in the Indiana Conference. He writes publicly about Christian discipleship, faith, and living the called life. He also writes academically about Wesleyan theology and practice.