I normally spend twenty hours or more preparing each talk that I give at NCC . Because the weekends seem to occur with alarming frequency :), I have a weekly rhythm that drives my preparation. Monday is a creative day. I usually work with a team, but sometimes by myself, to create the theme and creative elements of the talk. I consult what some other pastors have said about the topics, including Rick Warren, Erwin McManus, Rob Bell (no relation :), and Ed Young . Because of the internet, podcasting, and other great technologies, great contemporary preachers are the new commentaries – great stuff! Tuesday I mind-map the talk. Wednesday is my crunch day, and I often leave the office entirely to do my hard-core study and prep. Thursday I polish on it some, and coordinate other elements of the service. Friday I don’t touch it – my day off – and let my sub-conscious work on it. Saturday I start with a good work out, and then spend several hours before our service tweaking the talk. I have been using this particular rhythm for a couple of years. I say all this because this week my rhythm came crashing down like a big ‘ol wave. A meeting on Saturday drastically altered a chunk of the content I was planning for my talk (we are in a vision series and a lot of my talk was date and plan sensitive material). I got done with the meeting and found myself with a few scant hours to patch the huge wholes in my talk…and I think my hearers could tell. When I delivered my talk it felt awkward, shabby – like my rhythms had been broken. I am going to guard my rhythms a little better in the weeks to come. How about you? What rhythms do you follow?