Skip to main content

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.


Popular posts from this blog

The Famous Black Cat Band

This week my former high school band director, Mr Reinke, died. Mr Reinke is a legend in my hometown of Bay City. He was the leader of our Black Cat Band for many years. He was a fiery man, a perfectionist with extremely high standards. He was a gifted musician. He and I both played the trombone; one of us sounded like a goose being strangled. The other sounded like... well I can't think of a metaphor to properly describe Mr Reinke's horn. It was amazing. He would pull that thing out occasionally to show us how to properly play a part of a song and the sound was spellbinding. 
Mr Reinke was very innovative in his music selections. He had us playing the most random music, from popular stuff of the day by Michael Jackson to Also Sprach Zarathustra (popularly known as the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey) to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. This song in particular was a great choice-- it's amazing, complicated; however, this was the late 1980s. The song was originally released…

Grief Is a Powerful Thing

"So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the Gospel of God but also our own selves." 1 Thessalonians 2:8
My first couple of Sundays at Grace, early in July, a couple of different people asked me this question immediately before worship: "How are you feeling?" My response: "Terrified." This was met with sort of shocked looks, then afterward the same person would say something like, "See that was ok." I've always been nervous before preaching-- the ramped up nerves help me to focus on my task and give me energy. But this seemed stronger. On Saturday nights my first couple of months at Grace I would hear an inner critic saying, "You're not prepared." "You're going to bomb today." Most Sundays he was wrong. A couple of sermons did bomb, but that happens. I decided to seek out a spiritual director to help me discern what was going on with me. I knew it was internal, but couldn…

a response to gideons international

last sunday prosper united methodist church welcomed representatives of the gideons to share about their ministry. how many times have you stayed in a hotel or visited someone in the hospital and found a gideons Bible there? and while no one can argue that reading the Bible is a bad thing, or that distributing Bibles to others in native languages is inherently harmful, i would like to offer some thoughts on the practices of the gideons, as they were described at church.

1. bravo to the gideons for distributing 73 million Bibles last year. however, most of the Bibles they sent were tiny new testaments with psalms. i am a Christian, and i love the words of the new testament. but those words have their foundation in the old testament, and to remove thousands of years of traditions and stories of God's powerful love and acts of salvation diminishes the power of the whole Bible. we must never forget that the old testament (or "first" testament or "hebrew Bible"…