Charles H. Spurgeon was a compelling author, preacher and a prolific writer. He was an incredibly godly man –a man who had a lot of steam, focus, discipline, vision, and incredible passion for God.
But most of all, Spurgeon was the real deal, an incredibly inspiring man, who established and built into his life intentional daily and life-long spiritual rhythms all with the intent that the heart of God would be known to man and God’s Word would be unlocked and passed on to many generations to come.
What Did He Accomplish?
Over the course of, fifty-seven years, Charles Spurgeon accomplished three lifetimes of work. He preached every week four to ten times, read six big books, revised sermons for publication, lectured, and edited a monthly magazine.
He also, wrote roughly 150 books. He shepherded the largest Protestant megachurch in the world, in which he know all 6,000 members by name. And if that wasn’t enough, he founded and directed a college to teach and equip Pastor’s, ran an orphanage, and oversaw sixty-six Christian charities.
A Man Worth Looking At:
Considering all of the above, Spurgeon, is a compelling man, a man whose habitual disciplines, endurance and life rhythms are worth looking at, especially for aspiring preachers and writers. He was a man who never neglected his family in order to accomplish all he accomplished, since he was first a husband and a father, but when those duties were fulfilled, he built a legacy and was intentional and urgent about his time and he focused on accomplishing what God laid on his heart.
Clearly, Spurgeon was a unique godly man –a man of great discipline, passion, vision, and commitment to God’s people and God’s Word. Those are the reasons why it’s beneficial for developing Pastor’s, writers and leaders to have a behind-the-scene’s peak at the great Prince of Preachers weekly schedule. So with that being said, below is what Spurgeon’s daily organizer looked like.
**(Information taken from: The Spurgeon Center)**
Wake early, revise stenographer’s transcription of yesterday’s sermon
Write/dictate letters and personal correspondence
After lunch, complete revision of the first draft of sermon, then send to printer
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm, lead the prayer service at the Tabernacle
Conduct interviews for membership at the Tabernacle
Preach an optional late-night service
Wake early, revise second draft of sermon
11:00 am, complete revision of second draft, then send sermon to the printer
Write/dictate letters and personal correspondence
Lunch, research/write books, magazine articles, and other literary work
Afternoon, pastoral care/counseling at the Tabernacle
Evening, preside over Tabernacle societies and charities
Celebrate a much-needed mid-week Sabbath
Spend time with Susannah, Charles, and Thomas
Contemplate in garden or read in study
Wake early, write/dictate letters and personal correspondence
Begin thinking about selecting a Scripture text for the evening sermon
Afternoon, write/edit books and other literary projects
Complete the final revision of the sermon, then send to printer for publication/distribution
After dinner, begin sermon preparation for the evening service
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, preach the evening service in the Lecture Hall of the Tabernacle
Wake early, prepare lecture on preaching for the students of the Pastors’ College
3:00 pm – 5:00pm, lecture for two hours at the College on Temple Street
Interview/mentor students afterwards
7:00 pm, attend business meeting at the Tabernacle
Breakfast, then work with secretary on revising/editing books for publication
Resolve with secretary any outstanding projects for the week
Afternoon, entertain guests in garden if weather is favorable
6:00 pm, dismiss guests after dinner
“Now, dear friends, I must bid you good-bye and turn you out of this study; you know what a number of chickens I have to scratch for, and I want to give them a good meal tomorrow.”
10:00pm-12:00am, Prepare tomorrow’s sermon:
Select Scripture text
Ask wife to read the Scripture text aloud
Mentally divide sermon into natural breaking points as she reads
Scribble divisions onto a half sheet of paper in purple ink
Wake early, ride carriage to the Tabernacle (15-20 minute journey)
Smoke one cigar “to the glory of God”
Arrive 30 minutes before the service
Worship service begins
Call to worship/announcements
Congregational singing from Our Own Hymn-Book (voices only, no organ)
Read Scripture text while offering extemporaneous expositions on its context
Begin preaching sermon (43-45 minutes, no longer)
Drink chili-vinegar if throat becomes irritated
Conclude service (no altar call, but “enquiry rooms” available)
Afternoon, greet visitors in the Pastor’s Vestry
Late afternoon, travel home to “Westwood” on Beulah Hill in Norwood
Begin sermon prep for the evening evangelistic service
Preach sermon at the Tabernacle
Travel home and retire for the week
Bringing It Together:
It is said that, David Livingstone, the missionary to Africa, once asked Spurgeon, “How can you accomplish so much in one day?” To which, Spurgeon replied, “You forget, Mr. Livingstone, there are two of us working.”
It is evident that Charles Spurgeon truly had God working in his life and in his heart. And that is what compelled him and allowed him to do all that he did.
God’s Word and the passion to spread it’s power was the inner fire and passion burning inside him. But mainly, he stewarded the gifts God had given him, and he worked hard to build-in intentional gospel fruit-bearing habits that allowed him to globalize and advance the gospel and accomplish great things through Christ with the time he had.
What type of habits have you built into the spiritual rhythm of your life?
Sincerely, In Christ:
Jeremy Siggelkow Teacher, Writer & Speaker