When I [Adrian Rogers] begin my sermon preparation, I am drawing upon work which I have accumulated over thirty or forty years. When I begin my exegesis of a passage, I draw from my files all the materials related to that text. I have a file card on every chapter of the Bible.
This holds true of both exegesis work and illustrations. Such a filing system enables me to see what I have filed over the years on that text. Thus, when I prepare, I have available my library, my files, and, of course, my memory of the subject.
After I have assembled all the material, it requires between four to eight hours to complete a sermon.
Obviously, Wednesday night messages, and sometimes Sunday night messages, are given less time for preparation. I wish I had time to give quality time to each message, but being a busy pastor there just is not enough time for extensive preparation of each sermon.
I have hardly ever preached a message that I felt was fully ripe, fully mature before I picked it.
*This question and answer were extracted from "Love Worth Finding: The Life of Adrian Rogers and His Philosophy of Preaching.”