I only offer this idea because I know the life of many college ministers – plan plan plan plan hurry hurry hurry hurry. A weekly schedule is brutal for any ministry, but you’re likely doing a lot more than planning one weekly event – there’s a whole mission field out there to attend to, plus overseers and extra work for your organization or church or whatever.

When it comes to planning messages, the pace tends to be very hurried. You’re not going to “master” the topic of Changing the World or Dating or the Book of Romans in time to talk about it; you’re only going to master the parts / ideas / themes / applications that you’re going to teach.

So now that it’s summer, I offer for your consideration…

What if you worked slowly through a book of the Bible (or passage) this summer? Besides various seminary efforts, I’ve only truly done an extremely slow study of an entire book twice in my life – Job several years ago, and Ruth at present.

But it’s extremely life-giving, and it certainly enhances any teaching I’ll ever do here. In both cases, I’ve grabbed a couple of well-respected commentaries and walked through the book, reading much or all of each commentary alongside the text. I write notes alongside the text like a madman (in fact, I’ve had to print out very small sections for my Ruth study to give me room for notes). I jot down stuff I find interesting, stuff I think is teachable, stuff I know I’ll need later because I’ll forget what that verse means. With Job, when I got ready to teach, I already felt really good about the text (since I’d studied it in this way), so I could bring in other resources to help fill out the teaching points and applications. I assume I’ll do the same with Ruth someday.

In any case, you have a lot of great options for this summer, I’m sure. Just thought I’d offer one more.