This post is part of a multi-part blog series called Preaching Principles. Click here to watch the introduction video.
At Grace our ministry year runs from September to August. Which means we are planning our church calendar for the coming year in April and May the spring before. We believe in allowing the preaching calendar to drive the rest of the church calendar; which means I like to do my prayerful planning around 6 months before the next ministry year begins. So, every February I take a couple days away to prayerfully plan and research sermon series for the coming year. There are 10 questions that have proved to be helpful decision-making filters for me over the years.
Sermon Series decision filters:
- What is God calling us to preach? At all locations?
- What does the church need to hear?
- What does our mission/vision demand?
- What are the natural seasons for different themes throughout the year? (September high challenge, December more reflective or sentimental, Spring fresh start, etc)
- Are we balancing our approach between Exegetical /Topical and Theological/Practical
- Are we exposing the church to a variety of solid spiritual voices (books, commentaries, ways of approaching/studying the bible, methods for spiritual development)?
- What holy days/holidays/special occasions do we need to highlight and plan for?
- Are we consistently promoting our discipleship benchmarks?
- What whole Church Initiatives do we need to support?
- When are new life groups launching? (We want to make sure we place high felt-need series around when new groups are starting)