I use a template document for typing my sermon notes. But I guard against a template philosophy in preparing my sermons. My church deserves fresh sermons that are prayed over and thoroughly studied for—not cycled through.

Templates are great for saving time. But they’re not so great for encouraging growth. Sometimes when we think we are working smart, we are actually working lazy.

One of the challenges of ministry—especially as you stay in one place through the years—is maintaining a fresh eye and a commitment to fresh growth. Yes, it is easier and faster to reuse materials, repeat events, and recycle lessons. But it can also be lazy.

Every event on the calendar, every piece of literature, every ministry activity, every lesson or sermon, every service and class should be prayed over and handled with an excellence that honors God and those He has called us to serve.

Use a template when helpful, but don’t let the template dictate your ministry. Keep it fresh.

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