Have you found yourself asking the daunting question, "What should our next series of sermons address?"
Our planning team faced that decision every four to eight weeks. As a result, we developed a preaching calendar that has given us a built-in system for determining our series. We identified nine categories that we feel are critical to a balanced preaching calendar.
The big hook. We begin our preaching calendar with Easter. Since the holiday brings once-a-year visitors, we feel we need something to draw them back the next Sunday.
Topics: adversity, heaven and hell, decision making, stress
Relationships. With Mother's Day beginning and Father's Day ending this category, we offer biblical help to promote good relationships.
Topics: family, friendship, love, dating, marriage, children
Creatively linked random topics. This category connects stand-alone messages with a common theme, usually two 5-week series. This accommodates our sporadic summer attendance patterns.
Topics: Bible characters, moral issues, doctrines, questions of the faith
Regrouping. Beginning with Labor Day, we focus on personal growth, beginning with practical issues.
Topics: stewardship, evangelism, devotional life
Spiritual life. After addressing practical spiritual life, we focus on the transforming power of the Christian journey on the inner spiritual life.
Topics: faith, prayer, intimacy with God, worship
The holidays. From Thanksgiving through Christmas we prepare to celebrate Christ's birth.
Topics: God's love for us, grace, the birth of Christ
Strategic series. We begin the new year with a two-week series focused on the mission and vision of the church.
Topics: values, vision, mission, ministry strategy
5. Bible book series.
In February and March we wrap a series around a book of the Bible. The longest series we do (10 weeks), this can be either a survey of key passages or even verse-by-verse.
Topic: there's 66 to choose from
We focus on evangelism to remind people to invite friends to our Easter services and to target non-believers who have been attending since the previous Easter.
Topics: miracles, eternal security, salvation, forgiveness, the Second Coming