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Developing a Big Idea Series and Sermon

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Developing a Big Idea Series and Sermon

Sometimes when we first describe our teaching team approach to sermon preparation, pastors who were trained to lock themselves in an office and develop their Sunday message by themselves think we're crazy. "I'm used to doing this by myself," they might say. Or another common question is, "How can you teach something someone else has written?" Some pastors feel that if they don't spend 20-25 hours crafting a message by themselves, it's cheating.

Before we talk about our process for developing BIG IDEA series and sermons, we need to explain the type of teaching team that makes this process work. Most of the teaching teams we have observed are like a baseball team with a pitching staff. That team will put one pitcher on the mound and the whole crowd will watch to see if that pitcher can bring victory to the team. Pitching staffs always have their one ace. If there's a big game on the line (like Christmas or Easter), you always go with your ace to get ...

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Displaying 1–4 of 4 comments

Steve North

May 17, 2016  2:53pm

Great insight into a process that helps a variety of preachers in a variety of contexts to prepare challenging and encouraging messages targeted to their specific needs. Thanks for the "blueprint"!

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Tammy Melchien

May 09, 2016  11:01am

(part 2)...I think her perspective as someone who attends our church but is not on staff can bring another dimension to our team. So maybe there are a couple people in your life or within your church who would love the opportunity to collaborate?

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Tammy Melchien

May 09, 2016  10:59am

Hi Randy. Great question! Although you won't have as many people participating or possibly as extensive of a feedback loop, I think there are some principles you could apply. Back when COMMUNITY was one campus and Dave was the teacher, he started collaborating by calling two out-of-state friends and running sermon ideas by them. He said he almost always came away from those calls with one or two ideas for the sermon. Later, he had a standing weekly lunch with a friend from the church that was a marriage and family counselor and loved talking about sermon ideas. This guy was so helpful to Dave that eventually he became one of COMMUNITY's Teaching Pastors and then eventually led our Teaching Team for years. Even with the staff that we have now, I have one church member (who isn't on staff) but has a passion and giftedness for teaching who I am starting to involve in some aspects of helping me with the Teaching Team. She is thrilled to be involved and...

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Randy Ehle

May 09, 2016  9:31am

This is very helpful—a great analogy and a great approach to team prep. What I'd like to know is how to adapt this to a much smaller church: not only one with a single campus, but without such a big team of teachers. For example, how might it be applied in a church with a Lead Pastor, Associate Pastor, Youth Pastor, and maybe one other...where the Lead and Associate do most of the preaching but others may on occasion.

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