“Fake it ’til you make it” works in many situations: intramural sports, social interactions at networking meetings, your first job out of college. It does not work in church—or at least not very well.
It’s normal to have days where you feel uninspired, far from creative, and are lacking a solid message for your next sermon. That’s normal. Life happens. Thankfully there are some ways to bring back that lovin’ feeling when it comes to preparing your sermons.
First, if you’ve tried and tried to think of a topic that resonates with you, but keep coming up blank, pray about it. Yes, it sounds cliché. You pray for a living. Among other things, of course. But sometimes asking for a little divine inspiration is all it takes to welcome another voice into your headspace and provide direction—or a healthy distraction. This quick request can redirect your thought path or provide a new spark of inspiration.
Second, go back to your notes. If you keep notes in a journal—things that inspire you, invite questions, or deserve further study or consideration—read this list over and see if anything jumps out at you. Does any topic on your list relate to a current world event? Do any of your notes address a relevant issue facing your congregation right now?
Third, if you’ve done these things but are still no closer to a sermon than before—try a new direction. If you are experiencing this roadblock, no doubt others are too. Have you considered writing about “What to Do When Things Go Wrong”? What a powerfully transparent message to share with a community of believers, that everyone—regardless of career, age, gender, or preferred row in church—experiences bad days, frustration, and a loss of inspiration now and then.
Be humble and be thankful for grace in times like these. And if all else fails, open up to your staff and congregation about your so-so days and watch their powerful reaction to both being understood and feeling a stronger bond as a church.