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The Research Assistant

Your Sermon Preparation can Impact More Than Just Sunday Mornings

Most pastors would be intrigued by the prospect of an assistant to develop their file systems and do research on sermon materials.

If you react, "Sounds like a great idea, but our church doesn't have the money," don't stop reading yet. It's not really a money matter.

I've had such an assistant for years. She has enriched my life and found new purpose and ministry for herself. And like other church volunteers, she has never received a salary.

Verna Sturdivant and her husband Clair moved to our city over a decade ago to retire. A former schoolteacher, Verna was a lover of books and wanted to remain intellectually active. Her responses to my messages revealed a thinker and appreciative hearer as well as a "doer of the Word."

One day she told me about some E. Stanley Jones readings that paralleled certain points of my most recent sermon. I asked to see them and realized how much they would have enhanced that message.

"Verna," I said, "would you be willing to help me by looking for this type of ...

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