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.

7 Sure Ways to Ensure an Incredible Experience This Easter

Easter Experience Someone once said that Easter is the “Superbowl” of Christianity – the biggest event of the year.

Typically, on this day we have no problem attracting people to our churches.  However, the challenge before us is to create such an experience that our visitors increase their visits from one time of year to multiple times a year — to eventually become active members of the Church.

As pastors, we MUST commit to planning earlier for our Easter services.  Treating this day like any other Sunday would be a missed evangelistic opportunity.

Many churches that are seeing increases in membership, plan for these services a year in advance.  This demonstrates that they are being not only evangelistic, but ‘intentional.’

With just a couple of weeks before Easter, I believe we still can put together some new things to have a successful evangelistic Easter Service.

 

Here are 7 things we can do right away to ensure great experience this Easter:

The Bridge – A Father’s Sacrifice

“Father, take this Cup from Me…”

Some of you know that I write and direct skits and drama productions.  My most recent production was called, “The Cup.”  The drama was centered around the Garden of Gethsemane and depicted the struggle between good and evil.

We explored from an allegory point of view just what could have been the contents of these cups that Jesus asked God to remove from Him.

The goal was for those sitting in the audience to see not only their sins before them, but to also witness firsthand Jesus’ initial struggle with the prospect of Calvary.

2 Videos Designed to Set the Stage

I had two videos I wanted the congregation to see before starting the production.

Because of some technical difficulties I had to download them again. One of videos I wanted to show right before the production started.  It was entitled, “The Bridge.”

This clip was used to set the stage showing the audience the REAL cost of sacrifice, especially to those unaware of what was done just for them.

The Bible Miniseries Critic’s Challenge

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Heard the saying, “Everyone’s a Critic”?

I received some comments and criticisms about the Bible Miniseries on how Satan was portrayed to look like President Obama.  This statement has gone viral and people are now all ‘out of sorts.’

We will always have critics and those who stir up dissension among the masses. In my opinion, I don’t believe that Roma and Mark (the producers of the show) went out to purposely look for an Obama look-a-like to play the role of Satan.

I will say however, this seems to me, like a demonic ploy to lead a protest against the show and I am sure that the ‘real’ Satan is getting a kick out of it!

Paving the Way?

Could it be, that in spite of these types of up rises, as well as our theological differences, that this Bible Miniseries could be used as a sort of ‘forerunner’ (like John the Baptist) paving the way that would ultimately bring in new people to our churches who may be finally ready to make a commitment to Christ?

Why critics so hostile?

Further, is it necessary for the ‘Christian’ community to be so hostile in expressing their views against the show?

It reminds me of the Pharisees in the Bible.  They did not rejoice over the healing, rather, they made an issue out of the fact that the healing took place on the Sabbath!

Our bickering and criticisms amongst one another illustrates, once again, the “GREAT DIVIDE.”

Who would want to join a religion or come into a relationship with Jesus when His supposed followers can’t agree on anything regarding their faith?

Someone wrote “A little poison kills” to which I say, “..and so does starvation.”

Let’s give credit to those who are making attempts.

At least they are doing something! They are making an attempt to evangelize and expose people to the Word.

Let’s tell the truth and shame the devil –  if exposing people to the Word or evangelizing were left up to many of us as their only form of nourishment, the people would ‘starve’ to death!

Are there some theological issues that I have concerning the show?

You bet.  I see them and have made note of them and will use this platform to discuss them.

Are they show stoppers?

In my opinion, they are not ‘show stoppers’ but opportunities for discussion. I offer a challenge to use the show as a segue to begin conversations of faith. Think about it, what an opportunity this could be.

To those who are ‘UNchurched’, we should use caution so that we do not play into validating their beliefs that the Bible contradicts itself, rather discuss scenes that in your view were theologically represented correctly.

For the believer, this is an opportunity to dig deeper for greater revelation.

 

Stay tuned I believe I will begin to address in a more formal way some of the theological issues that surfaced during the show.

 

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