Fishing Sermons: 5 Baits to Ensure a Bite

One of the First Aims of Preaching from Rev. Adam Hamilton’s chapter on “Preaching” is called Evangelistic Sermons.

fishing

I’m sure you will agree that there are two times when the unchurched find themselves sitting in our pews: Christmas and Easter.  Hamilton let’s us know that these are the times we  need to go fishing!

Evangelistic Sermons

As we prepare for our highest recruitment days (Christmas and Easter) or “Fishing Expedition” opportunities as Hamilton states, it’s important to be very intentional.  He shares some strategies that have contributed to his success.

5 Tips to Prepare Sermons a Year in Advance

5 Tips on Preparing Sermons a Year in Advance. Adam Hamilton, pastor of the largest United Methodist Church in the US, The Church of the Resurrection shares some techniques that have contributed to his success.
sermons

I’ve read several great books related to the church, one such book that I believe every new preacher needs to have in their library is by Adam Hamilton, “Leading Beyond the Walls.”

Several pastors with large churches have written books stating that they prepare their sermons in as much as two years in advance. I use to wonder how in the world they could do that. It takes me an entire week to get a single sermon ready for a Sunday morning.

Adam Hamilton describes in his book how this is accomplished. I would like to review in this blog:

  • The purpose and goal of preaching a sermon
  • Model How Jesus Preached
  • Sermons Prepared a Year in Advance
  • List a brief summary of Adam Hamilton’s, ‘The Five Aims of Preaching’

I know that you may not have time to read his book and I hope that this blog serves to highlight helpful tips to spark your creativity in preparing  your sermons. In a future blog I will expand on the chapter dealing with Adam Hamiliton’s The Five Aims of Preaching.

I Am A Church Member – On Every Book Shelf!

I am Church Member

Reasons I Liked the Book

I like this book for several reasons. To list a few: it is small, simple, easy to read, practical, inexpensive and it has some great insights. Some of the content makes for some great discussions in small groups.

FIRST Read The Introduction

Many of us dive right into reading chapter one, but in this case I STRONGLY recommend reading The Introduction for it sets the stage for the chapters to follow. The introduction includes a story of the interaction between two different types of church members. If you are a seasoned church member I am sure you will be able to relate.

Sermons: Address Congregational Care Issues

ButtonCongregationalCare

Sermons: Address Congregational Care Issues

I hopped onto www.churchleaders.com and was intrigued by an article entitled, “How to Preach Like Andy Stanley” written by Michael Lukaszewski.

Of course Mike’s title caused quite a stir.

Actually, it was quite clever. The title alone enticed us to read the article which really addressed why he felt Andy Stanley was one of the top communicators of our time.  Andy Stanley is the senior pastor of North Point Community Church in Georgia and is also son to the well known tel-evangelist, Charles Stanley.

Congregational Care: One of the Keys to Success

I would like to address two of the six reasons Michael highlighted in his blog because I think pastoral and congregational care are extremely important to the success of any church.

Mike wrote in his article that Andy Stanley understands people and tackles the tough topics with grace.

As pastors, it’s extremely important to stay connected with the real issues facing our congregations.

Pastoral and Congregational Care issues may look like this:

  • Depression or anxiety disorders
  • Marital unfaithfulness [infidelity]
  • Divorce
  • Loss of job
  • Debt
  • Alcohol or drug addiction
  • Rebellious children
  • Unwanted pregnancy or abortion
  • Infertility
  • Rape or molestation
  • Illness

At Least 25% Need Pastoral Care

Adam Hamilton, author of Leading Beyond the Walls stated that at any given time he counts on the fact that 25% of people coming to worship are in NEED of pastoral care.

Depending upon how large your church is or your personal work load, it may be simply impossible to devote sufficient time one on one to these individuals.

What Mike was saying in his article about Andy Stanley is that Andy is very much aware that there are people sitting in his congregation who are battling issues everyday and need help.

Andy bravely takes on some of these issues in his sermons or sermon series and does so with grace and not condemnation.  Andy often cites that you may not always agree with him, but regardless, he is committed to sharing God’s truth. A prime examples of this is his video series on “Guardrails.”

Adam Hamilton states from his book that pastors have to address these real issues.  He gives a couple of examples and the first is when he preached a funeral of a man who committed suicide.

Pastor Adam sensing that there was a need, devoted a whole sermon on the topic of suicide.  A number of people told him that the sermon alone convinced them not to take their own lives.

Pastor Adam’s sermon was taped and copies remain in their bookstore weekly for anyone who wishes to pick up a copy for themselves or for a friend who is contemplating suicide.

Added BONUS: It Can be Evangelistic

Another example of meeting congregational care is the area of dealing with relationships and marriage. Pastor Adam devoted an entire sermon series on the “Biblical Perspective of Love, Sex & Marriage.”

This was as a result of a lot of pastoral visits of couples on the brink of divorce.

The goal of the series was to help the congregation understand the Biblical perspective on marriage and relationships between a man and a woman. By the way, everyone that is married at his church gets a DVD of this series.

Although the goal was to help relationships and marriages, members of the congregation invited friends and other family members.  By the time the series concluded, their church took in nearly 200 new families.

Pastoral care sermons are important.  As Adam Hamiliton quotes, “…help us offer real hope and help to those who are broken.”

Do you take time to assess the real needs of the congregation and intentionally study and create sermons to address congregational care issues?  If not, are you motivated now to?

 

 

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