There was a time when families had a big Sunday meal after church. Mom would slow cook a roast all morning, and all the fixings were prepared. It was like Thanksgiving but there was no turkey (unless that weird cousin of yours was coming over). There was always too much to eat, so there would always be leftovers. Leftovers were great because it gave the family something to eat on Sunday night without anyone having to cook. With the amount of leftovers, they sometimes lasted during the first few days of the week.
Preparing sermons isn’t that far off from the big Sunday dinner. There are always leftovers. Just like the dinner with all the fixings, there are many things that you want to add to your sermon but cannot. Like the limited space on your plate, your worship service is simply too full. You have to cut some things out due to time or secondary interest.
I’ve added a new section to the blog that you might enjoy. It’s the leftovers section. This section is dedicated to the tasty morsels that didn’t make it into the sermon meal for my congregation. It is for the portions that if I had placed it on the plates of my listeners it would simply stuff them to inactivity and they would fall asleep, unable to process what they have been fed.
Sermon leftovers are a great time saver. Throw those secondary truths into some Tupperware, and reheat them for a midweek meeting. They make great devotional snacks for your elders meeting, your worship team practices, and staff training. Leftovers make for great meals that take little preparation on your part because you’ve already done the preparation.
There’s one guideline though: Just like leftovers though, if you use leftovers, just let people know that is what you will be serving. Leftovers are not the primary point of the text. They are a secondary building block that might be interesting at another time, or a rabbit trail worth chasing as a secondary endeavor as you have meditated on Scripture.
Using leftovers from your sermon prep is just like serving leftovers to your family. It saves you time if you have to preach multiple times during the week.
Enjoy the upcoming leftovers!
Question: Do you use preaching leftovers? What part of recent message preparation did you have to leave out?