It was Saturday night. I sat down to put the final touches on my sermon for the morning. I wrote the sermon quite a while ago in my process of getting ahead. I dusted my sermon off earlier in the week and worked on internalizing it.
Saturday night was my normal routine of practicing out loud and making a few minor tweaks. It’s usually very smooth and easy.
But then, I ran into a big problem.
I realized that the main idea for my message was based on a misinterpretation of my key passage of scripture. It was an easy mistake to make. It was only a minor misinterpretation. I could preach it and most people wouldn’t even know the difference or even care if they did.
It was a stupid mistake that I should have caught the week I wrote the message. But to be honest, I cut corners on my usual process of study because of how busy the week was.
So there I was, hours before I was supposed to preach, with a real problem.
Do I say, “Too late now,” and preach through the problem with the intention to never let it happen again? Or do I completely rewrite my message only hours before I have to preach it?
What would you do?
I will tell you what I did. After a minor panic attack, I put on my big boy pants, poured myself a cup of coffee, and rewrote the entire sermon as best I could in the time I had.
Was I frustrated with myself? Yes. Was I tired? Yes. But was my conscience clean? Absolutely.
Thankfully, my new sermon went well. It wasn’t as polished as I would have liked. It wasn’t as engaging as my other sermon would have been. But deep down, I know that I did my due diligence as the shepherd of my flock.
I don’t ever want this situation to happen again. But at least I slept great Sunday night knowing I did my absolute best to rightly handle the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
What about you? If you found a misinterpretation or misapplication in your sermon the night before you preach, what would you do?