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sermon planning

a couple of months i wrote about my frustration with my doctoral work-- which was not remedied by my recent trip to kansas city, by the way. i said i was not certain about my final project, until i began thinking about the issue of preaching in a new church with its own needs. that thought process led me to the inspiration for a new project, studying the preaching of pastors in new appointments, and the development of a tool to be used by pastors when they move to a new church.

this confusion and frustration poured into my own sermon preparation, and i found myself falling back to the lectionary-- a model for preaching i was taught in seminary but one i have never fully embraced. since i returned from kansas city, i have felt the creative impulses coming back. with the help of my end-of-term assignments which focused on long-term sermon series planning, i've got plenty of ideas for the next two years or so. since i used this forum to share those frustrations (rotten fruit), it seems only fair to share the good fruit too:

july 29-september 9: "...and justice for all": a sermon series dealing with Jesus' teachings from the gospel of luke. parables such as the lost coin/lost sheep and the good samaritan will be discussed, with the hope of reminding the church of Jesus' passion for finding and saving the lost.

september 16-october 21 treasures of the transformed life: john ed mathison's book emphasizes the stewardship of everything we do, specifically with regard to the traditional methodist commitment to support the church with our prayers, our presence, our gifts, and our service. there is a companion study book for every family in the church to work through together, as well as small-group opportunities for further study.

november 4-december 23 "i believe": the apostles creed, broken down over several weeks-- what do Christians actually believe? entering the conversation in the sermons and as a companion study will be God Is Not Great, a best-seller that offers, shall we say, an opposite view of belief.

more sermon series will follow, each with a different emphasis. what this process has shown me is that i am firmly a sermon series preacher, not a lectionary preacher. as frustrating as the past few months have been with regard to sermon planning, it has been worth it, as i am very excited about this preaching plan.


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