Deepen Your Preaching Barrel by Planning Ahead
The benefits of using your summer to plan out your sermon series for the coming year.
When I first became senior pastor of Tenth Church in Vancouver in 1996, I had limited preaching experience. Sundays seemed to hurtle toward me at the speed of sound every three or four days and one of my biggest anxieties was deciding what to preach on. As I look back on my first sermons that summer, I see how I recycled the few sermons I had in my hip pocket. Then I ran out and panic set in. After a couple of months, I felt like I was "scraping the bottom of the barrel" for sermon material. In those days my sermons basically consisted of the Bible text, a football illustration, and a quote from C.S. Lewis.
One of the practices that has made preaching at Tenth Church sustainable, and even life-giving, has been taking time each summer to map out the possible sermon series for the coming year, from September through the end of June (an associate pastor plans our summer series in the spring). I have found that summer is a particularly good time for me to engage in some longer-range sermon ...