I was in full time ministry from 1992-2013 before becoming a Lead Pastor. During those years I did my fair share of preaching but probably never preached more than 3 Sundays in a row.
Before I ever read the articles, read “Planning Your Preaching” by Rummage or listened to the webinars I was convinced with the importance of preaching in series.
Before moving to Town Centre Church I had my first series ready to go and that certainly made a difference to our first month at the church. While I am not an overly organized person waking up every Monday asking, “What should I preach on this Sunday?” is not a life I am interested in living on a regular basis. For those of you who can live with this tension, more power to you.
Here are 3 lessons regarding preaching from my first year as a Lead Pastor:
1) Leave some space in your calendar.
- I originally planned to do a 7-week series on Colossians but I ended up going 10 weeks instead. Planning with flexibility is important.
- A preaching schedule with no room for adjustment will feel like a noose around your neck and not give you the opportunity to respond to the unexpected that can happen during the year.
2) Take A Break With A Guest Speaker
- As the solo Pastor I try and plan to have a guest speaker in between my series. This gives me a break but more importantly it gives the people a break from hearing me:)
- Where do these people come from?
- Is there a person in your congregation who can share?
- Bring someone in from one of the ministries that you support.
- Ask around and see if there are any retired pastors or pastors in transition that you could consider.
- What about a Bible College student if here is a school close to where you minister?
- Lastly, what about having one of your denominational leaders IF YOU DARE!!
3) Sacrifice To Stay Ahead
This is my biggest battle. I have been 4 sermons ahead, I have been finished on Thursdays, I have been finishing on Saturday and I have been doing final tweaks on Sunday morning. I like being ahead:)
Whatever you have to do to get ahead (whatever that means for you) be like Nike and “Just Do It”. Summer is a good time to accomplish this. The peace of mind and time for more creativity will be worth the effort.
Here are some of the series I preached my first year. Hopefully they spark some ideas for you.
- “What Makes A Church Strong?” (Acts 2:42 – 4 Weeks)
- “How Big Is God?” (Various Psalms – 4-weeks)
- “Jonah” (4-Weeks)
- “The Bible” (Hal Seed Material – 6-weeks)
- “Sunday Morning Breakdown” (Worship, Communion, Preach, etc – 6-weeks)
- “Parenting Children In A World of Entitlement” (3-weeks including guest speaker)
- “Colossians” (10-weeks)
Photo credit: mikecogh / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)