Most Christians understand sermon preparation as the phrase used to describe what the Pastor does to get ready for Sunday.
I've used this phrase in the past, and I'm sure you have as well.
However, consider this perspective.
Is sermon PREP the goal, or is Bible STUDY the goal?
I believe when this question is answered and the subtle difference is realized, it can make a profound impact on the hearers.
Let's ask another question:
Are we to prepare sermons based on the "felt needs" of the people, or are we to study the Bible to prepare ourselves for God's approval?
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
We don't start with the presupposition of preparing sermons for people. Instead, we study THE BIBLE to be approved of God. As a result, the hearers will hear the Bible preached and will respond as God pricks their own hearts.
God's approval is our goal. People approval will be our downfall.
We are to labor as unashamed workmen for God. We are not hirelings, we are WORKMEN!
Let's get to work!