Musings on Spiritual Matters

by Matthew Morine

Sermon Seasons

image0-711869It seems that every preacher goes through these seasons of preaching.  Maybe not, but I do.  For months you will have great sermon ideas, a ton of them, and you will write some of them down, and you will be excited to preach them.  It seems that you will never get to that next great big idea for a sermon.  You will go for months with high inspiration for your lessons.  But then it seems that everything dries up.  You still have some ideas, but you are not as excited about them.  It just seems like another sermon.  If mule around a couple of ideas, but nothing really takes hold.  You have a illustration, a point, a insight into the text, but really you find it hard to preach it.  How do you make it into a great sermon?  There is the summer preaching season full of living ideas and then there is the winter sermon season where everything seems to grow so slowly.  How do you handle the winter season?

1. You need a break.  Yes, that is the first step, you need to admit that having over 100 lessons a year is hard.  A preacher that preaches a couple of times a month or a few times a year can have some great ideas, but for us preachers that preach over 100 times a year, this is hard to have great ideas every week.  You need a break.  This is a good sign you need a vacation to recharge, or some time away from the office.  When you come back, summer will too.

2. You need to read.  Yes, not just the latest self-help Christian book, or the bestseller at lifeway.  Personally, I really dislike these books, what you need to read is some scholarly stuff.  Something that will challenge you.  You will gain a lot more for one of these books than the best seller that the members read anyway.  Also, you need to read a preaching book.  A book on improving or developing a new preaching style.  This will help with the ideas.

3. You need less pressure.  You will not hit a homerun every time.  You can still play in the majors hitting singles consistently.  Quit putting all the pressure on yourself.

4. You need a series.  Sometimes preaching a series is great because you know what you will preach for a while.  It takes the pressure off of you.  So preach through a book, or a theme, or some stories in the gospel.  This will help you overcome the winter season.

Hope this stuff helps.

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Related posts:

  1. The Key to a Great Sermon
  2. Sermon Block
  3. Sermon Planning
  4. The Last Sermon
  5. Review of “Applying the Sermon”

About The Author

Matthew is originally from Nova Scotia, Canada. He has a beautiful wife named Charity and a precious baby named Gabrielle. He has graduated from the Brown Trail School of Preaching, Heritage Christian University with his Bachelors of Arts in Biblical Studies, Lipscomb University with his Master’s of Arts in Biblical Studies and his Master’s of Divinity at Freed-Hardeman University. He is presently working towards his Doctorate of Ministry at Harding Graduate School of Religion. His articles have appeared in the World Evangelist, the Highway to Holiness, The West Virginia Christian, The Christian Echo, The Firm Foundation, Church Growth, and the Gospel Advocate. He enjoys hockey, golf, boxing, and chess. In his spare time he enjoys reading numerous genres of books. Also, he is working on climbing all of the 14ers in Colorado. Matthew is the Pulpit Minister for the Castle Rock church of Christ.

Comments

6 Responses to “Sermon Seasons”

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  1. Matthew says:

    Does this help, what ideas to you have?

  2. Good stuff man and I agree with you on the self-help books…more of a hindrance than help. When I read your blog post I was reminded of a book by Bruce and Katherine epperly called “Four Seasons of Ministry.” Might be of some benefit although they speak to ministry as a whole and not just preaching.

    I would add to your list you two that might be helpful.

    1. I need perspective. Looking back at what God has done with my ministry (sometimes in spite) helps me to gain focus that he can do so much more and inspiration comes with a little instigation.

    which brings me to…

    2. I need encouragement. I am youth minister and know how tough it is to preach sunday after sunday by watching our preacher go through seasons himself. What can I do? Encourage him and lift him up through conversation about his sermons and tell him how much they have impacted me.

    Hope this helps. Blessings.

    Robbie Mackenzie

  3. K. Rex Butts says:

    I think being well read is one of the greatest assets a preacher has. The authors you read become conversation partners which presumes that one does not need to agree with everything another author says. By having these conversation partners…whether they be commentators on a biblical text, theologians, ministry/mission practitioners, or writers even outside the broad field of biblical/theological studies…the imagination is stirred with ideas and insights which otherwise would remain unknown to the reader.

    Grace and peace,

    Rex

  4. Matthew says:

    All good advice guys.

  5. Rusty says:

    I really can’t imagine preaching 104 sermons and 104 bible classes. So my advice is based on 104 bible classes.

    1. I make a list of everything I really believe I must teach on. When I first did this I had a lost of over 300 items. Then I began narrowing this by grouping like items (honesty, trust, lying). I did this so I could emphasize what Stanley calls the irreducible minimums.

    2. I plan out the year. I am a series guy so I lay out it out based on series and length. (2 weeks on … 4 weeks on….) Then I will go back and fill out the details.

    3. This gives me a plan and it is flexible for me to adjust.

    4. It also gives me time to prepare for things I know are coming up.

    5. It gives me a plan for when I hit the low times (usually November)

  6. John Dobbs says:

    Excellent thoughts Mathew. Appreciate you sharing those.

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