One of the best changes my church ever made was going from preaching stand alone sermons every Sunday to preaching through sermon series. Sermon series give you more time to prepare and more opportunities to be creative. They also generate more interest, which means people invite their friends. I wrote a whole post about why sermon series work so well that you can read about here.
If you’re preaching sermon series and you’re not seeing an increase in interest and excitement among your congregation and those in your community, you may need to ask yourself a few important questions.
- Are we answering the questions our community is asking?
The majority of people in your community are dealing with the same struggles, yet we far too often preach messages on topics that most people just don’t care about. We have to talk about the issues they are dealing with. The people in your congregation and community need help with their marriage. They need help with parenting their crazy kids. They need help letting go of their addictions. They need helping finding their purpose. You may get tired of talking about the same issues year after year, but trust me your congregation doesn’t. If you’ll answer the right questions, then people will show up to hear what you have to say.
- Are we scheduling our series at the right times of year?
Even for those pastors who may not be tracking their church’s attendance, you still know when people are most and least likely to be at church. Families are more likely to be at church during the school year than when their kids are out during the summer. So, plan a series on parenting during the fall when kids go back to school. Talk about goals in January. Talk about generosity around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Talk about relationships during February. The better you plan, the better chance people show up.
- Are we marketing our series well?
You can have the most creative amazing series in the world planned, but it doesn’t matter if no one hears about it. Are you promoting your upcoming series on your website? Are you taking advantage of social media and asking your congregation to share posts? Do you provide invite cards for your congregation to invite their friends? What are you doing to get the word out?
There’s a process to planning a sermon series. When you take your time and work through the process, you reap the benefits.
What are the best topics you’ve found to preach about? What series draw the most interest at your church? Leave a comment and let’s learn from each other. If you need help coming up with ideas, make sure to shoot me a message and I’d love to help.
2 thoughts on “3 Questions to Ask When Planning a Sermon Series”
Great list. Thanks for sharing Travis. Another questions I’d add: What needs to follow / happen after the series? That is, does or should this fit into a broader process?
That’s a good question. We don’t always do this, but you could suggest a book, bible plan, or small group that dives into the series topic.