Since arriving I have to spend more intentional time preparing, writing, and editing my sermon. How much time? I really cannot say, but in my view it is considerable. The reason: the church has a high view of the sermon and expects a well crafted piece of art (one of the reasons I was drawn here). I also spend more time because of the "competition." Competition? In Lime Rock there really was no competition, in my mind at least - considering LRBC was the only Protestant church in the village. But here folk can just as easy go down the street a few blocks and receive a quality and damn good sermon.
All in all I appreciate this environment, it is forcing me to improve my writing and delivery style. I have formed/am forming a checklist of items I have to have before I walk up the stage and stand behind the pulpit: a proper welcome, a written prayer, the words of assurance, order of announcements, & etc. Never in a million years did I expect this level of professionalism, but I appreciate it nonetheless.