This past Sunday my Sr. Pastor was on vacation.
We had a guest speaker planned to come and speak (I had just spoke on Christmas Eve). He called 45 minutes before the service to say he was not going to be able to make it because he was too sick!
I'm sure it is common for itinerant speakers to wait until the last minute because they always think they will be healthy enough to speak. This time, he wasn't.
So, I had all of 45 minutes of prep time for the 2 morning services.
Personally, I find it hard to always have a "backup" sermon because who knows if it the right sermon for the time of the year, what is going on in the church, etc. It seems to me that you'd need multiple backup sermons to preach, which I am not at that point yet.
So, did I pull out an old sermon? Nope
A backup sermon? Nope
Instead, I came up with a 10 minute message off the top of my head and typed up some quick notes. We added some extra worship and sharing time. How did it all turn out....pretty good actually! People liked the extra worship and sharing time and my message on resolutions went over pretty well. We also had some extra "absolutely silent" time to pray over new spiritual resolutions for the new year. Silence is good sometimes!
See mom and dad, all that college finally paid off! I planned a worship service in less than 45 minutes!