Dear Pastor, since we are not good enough…

Here are some suggestions for Team Preaching

If you read the previous post and weren’t offended, or hadn’t really thought of involving other people in your preaching, here are some tips and suggestions to help get the process started:

1. Pray and Plan
It is always necessary to bring God into the mix from the get go. Rely on Him for inspiration, guidance, and wisdom. According to Proverbs 16:9, the Lord guides a man’s steps, but the man plans the way. In other words, we have to do our part.
I recommend planning out a year of Sundays. 52 weeks seems like a lot to plan for, but it isn’t. There may be the “What about the leading of the Holy Spirit” pushback in your mind. Remember this – Your God is great enough to lead you 52 weeks in advance, not just 6 days in advance of your preaching date. (Note: I will only be referring to 1 primary weekend message, not a Sunday AM, PM and Wednesday sermon – that’s a whole other topic) When planning out 52 weeks of sermons here are some things to consider:

  • Pay special attention to ‘High Yield Sundays’. Most Pastors END a sermon series on Easter and Christmas when they have really high attendance crowds. A better idea is to kick off a series that will encourage those visitors to come back. Leave them desiring the other messages.
  • Schedule at least 10 Sundays to be out of the pulpit a year. Be out for vacation, then allow other people to sporadically be in the pulpit…even when you are in town. Why? You will stay fresh to your congregation longer. You will be able to build some momentum by having some time out of the pulpit. You can give other guys on staff some time to preach and grow their skills. You don’t have all the good sermons.
  • Don’t preach a 47 week series of sermons through the book of Deuteronomy. You can preach expository, and the whole counsel of God without going verse by verse. You may have many young parents in your crowd – if you spend 28 weeks dealing with passages that don’t have much to do with parenting – you will be starving them. Preach a balance of felt need and non-felt need messages. EX: Do a three week series on Finances followed by a three week series on the Trinity.
  • Keep your series to 6-8 weeks long maximum. The series just loses energy and buzz when you are preaching: “Raising Godly Kids – Part 13”.
  • Don’t lock yourself into seasonal preaching. Preaching the Nativity story at Christmas is wonderful, but some of your people have heard 50 years worth of Nativity sermons. Use the season, but don’t be afraid to preach non-traditional Easter/Christmas themes at Easter/Christmas. Ever notice that fathers preach to mothers every Mother’s Day? Have your wife or a gifted mommy communicator deliver a message on Mother’s day. If your Baptist, ignore the last statement, unless your a Baptist with lots of guts!
  • Plan 2 – 4 “Blow out” series. A “blow out” series is a series in which you go the extra mile with drama, promotion, graphics, technology and promotion. You can’t make every series you do super amazing. You don’t have the resources, or the man power. In addition, if every series is a “blow out” series, none of them will be. Remember TV shows take a break, and come back with new seasons – why? Because they can’t keep you on edge 52 weeks a year either.
  • Take a break from doing several consecutive message series’. Take a week and just talk to the people from your heart. Tell stories of what is going on in the ministry.
  • Involve a Team of people in the planning. Other volunteers or staff members may have their finger on a pulse in the church that you are unaware of – they could give you invaluable insight as to what topics could really feed the people spiritually. If you’re new to say, Indianapolis, and you plan a big Sunday during Race Week – they will warn you that that is a TERRIBLE week in Indy to plan a special Sunday. Get feedback! Remember, we have to check our egos at the door for the good of the church of Jesus Christ.

– Brad

Next Post: Team Preaching Part 2: Pray and Prepare

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