Welcome to Productive Pastor. In this episode, I am sharing how I designed a productive study retreat. Can I mention how stoked I am about a STUDY RETREAT!!!!
I am spending a few days at the Lanier Theological Library in Houston, Texas. This should be a fantastic time for deep work and sermon preparation. I am also hosting a lunch get together for listeners of Productive Pastor. To find out the details, make sure you join the Productive Pastor Community on Facebook. I’ll be announcing and coordinating everything there.
Over the last year I have been working on a new version of my Sermon Worksheet, complete with a new eBook AND my first premium resource. I am wrapping up the last part of this project and can’t wait to share it with you. It has been a long time coming! If you want to get the old version of the sheet and get on the early bird list, just click here.
I’m also working on a how-to guide for starting a fantastic and high-quality sermon podcast. Did you know the Christian category is the largest on Apples Podcast store? This is because of sermons. I totally believe in the medium of audio podcasts and I want to help you leverage them for high impact in your community.
Designing a Productive Study Retreat
I took a sermon study retreat a few years ago. I just threw a bunch of books in my truck, grabbed a bag of frozen buffalo wings and went out. I got a few things done, but I mainly just took the time to rest. Looking back, I needed rest more than I actually needed to study.
Going into this retreat, I didn’t want to make the same mistakes. I intentionally planned what I knew I wanted AND needed to do. After planning my retreat, I read this fantastic article by Brian Jones about sermon preparation. It is called “How To Finish Your Sermon by Monday” and I was initially taken aback. But after reading I realized it gave me much more focus about the handful of goals I had for my sermon retreat. There are two important parts of designing a productive study retreat.
– come up with a plan and some goals
– order whatever supplies you might need (notebooks, pens, resources, etc)
– build out digital note taking systems (for me, it’s my evernote templates)
– print out whatever sermons sheets you need
– map out the time you have. set some goals.
– Find a few things to be excited about.
– Find a great place.
– find a great place to stay. For me, it has to have a good breakfast and be comfortable enough for later evening study sessions in the hotel room.
– start preparing for longer stretches of thought work. You want to be acclimated to it.
– stick to your map. Make sure to stick with your focuses.
– Make sure to have a note-taking system for long-term recall.
– Find something mindless to do as well. You are studying and doing large amounts of deep work. Your brain will keep itself active.
– Do something fun in the evening.
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