Home > Blog > Heaven’s Kitchen: Similarities between Preachers and Chefs

March 31, 2016

Heaven’s Kitchen: Similarities between Preachers and Chefs

By Daniel Im

Q&A Webinars are a monthly segment for Plus Members. This is where you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions to the leading experts in church planting, multisite, and multiplication. Q&A webinars are your unique opportunity to ask your questions to these thought leaders. For this month’s segment, Ed and I talk to Matt Chandler, Lead Teaching Pastor at The Village Church in the Dallas/Fort Worth, TX metroplex and the President of Acts29. Plus Members can watch the full segment by logging in and clicking here.

Heaven’s Kitchen: Similarities between Preachers and Chefs

My love of food has led me to watch some reality shows like Hell’s Kitchen starring Chef Gordon Ramsay. On Hell’s Kitchen, chefs compete for $250,000 and the position of head chef at one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants. The show gives the viewers a behind the scenes look at kitchen life. For Chef Ramsay, his kitchen is intense, busy, and focused as all the chefs seek to impress him by creating appealing, mouth-watering, and delicious food. If you’ve ever seen the show you know the kitchen life lives up to the show’s name—Hell’s Kitchen.

Recently, as Ed and I chatted with Matt Chandler about various topics, one of which was preaching, it dawned on me that preachers and chefs have at least five things in common when it comes to preaching and cooking.

Designate A Time to Prep

As chefs designate prep time to sort through the food, ration the portions, and marinate the meat in preparation for service, so too should preachers designate prep time to prepare spiritually, biblically, intellectually, practically, contextually, and personally for the Lord to speak through them at the weekend gathering.

While Matt plans the texts and topics about a year out, he sets aside Monday and Thursday as his designated prep time. On Mondays, Matt plans future sermons by reading passages and sketching out an outline. During Thursdays, Matt concentrates on the present week’s message. Although he already has the outline sketched out, he works more on the body of the sermon—including the transitions and the conclusion.

Mix up the Menu

As chefs on occasion change their menu to offer more seasonal items, so too do preachers mix things up by offering multiple series.

Matt attempts to mix things up with regard to the message series by typically preaching a more thematic series in the spring followed by choosing a book of the Bible to walk through in the fall. Depending on the length of the book, Matt may break longer books (such as Luke) into mini-series. By changing up the menu (sermon series) it provides a great opportunity for church members to invite their friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors to try a new item (new series).  

Use a Team for Better Tasting Meals

As chefs have a team to help them prepare, cook, season, and plate the food, so too should preachers have a team to help them prepare, meditate, observe, and think through the passage they’ll be serving up to the congregation.

Matt shared how he—depending on the series—surrounds himself with a team to help maximize the effectiveness of the series. His team helps him think through potential questions that people may ask, observe points in the Scripture he may not have seen, and break down cultural and contextual concepts he may not fully understand. There are times when Matt hires an outside research company to help him with concepts he may not fully understand. Enlisting a team becomes Matt’s way of enhancing the quality of the message.

To read the final two points on similarities between preachers and chefs and to listen to the entire Webinar with Matt Chandler—that also includes him discussing The Village Church’s discipleship process, their process of recruiting and developing volunteers, and how they measure wins—click here for the full video and post.

This video is part of Plus Membership, so to get full access to it, and much more, I encourage you to become a Plus Member. Click here to see all the benefits of becoming a Plus Member.


  • As chefs designate prep time for cooking, preachers should designate prep time for preaching.
  • Offering various series throughout the year provides great opportunities for people to invite friends, family, co-workers, & neighbors.
  • Having a team to help in the preparation of sermons can maximize the effectiveness of the sermon delivery.
  • Don’t seek to imitate other preachers, but rather learn from and be inspired by them. @MattChandler74
  • Preachers should run in their own lane, develop their own style and cadence, and become the most sanctified version of you. @MattChandler74
  • One of the best exercises for improving one’s preaching is creating legitimate feedback loops. @MattChandler74
  • Being open to receive constructive criticism of sermons requires humility and security, and leads to better delivery.
  • An insecure and unteachable preacher is one who isolates himself from constructive criticism.


Daniel Im

Daniel Im (@danielsangi) is the Senior Associate Pastor of Beulah Alliance Church, a multiplying multisite church focused on reaching 1% of Edmonton for Christ. His latest book is You Are What You Do: And Six Other Lies about Work, Life, and Love. He is also the author of No Silver Bullets and co-author of Planting Missional Churches. He co-hosts the New Churches Q&A Podcast, as well as the IMbetween Podcast. He has an M.A. in Global Leadership and has served and pastored in church plants and multisite churches ranging from 100 people to 50,000 people in Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Korea, Edmonton, and Nashville. Because of their love for the local church, after pioneering and leading the church multiplication initiative for LifeWay, Daniel and his wife, Christina, moved back to Canada with their three children. For more information, visit danielim.com and follow him on social media @danielsangi.


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