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.

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 Bible Miniseries – Pastors, Great Outreach Opportunity!

Some of you maybe aware of the upcoming miniseries entitled, “The Bible” created and produced by Roma Downey of Touch by an Angel and her husband, Mark Burnett.

The Bible is a ten-hour, five-week, miniseries beginning on March 3, 2013 airing ‘prime time’ on the History Channel 8PM – 10PM.

The Bible will air on Sunday nights where viewers will see some of the best-known stories from The Bible:  Noah’s Ark,  the Exodus,  Jesus’ birth and His disciples. The final episode of the miniseries will air on Easter Sunday and will feature the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

Why broadcast on the History Channel?

Roma Downey, Star of Touch by an Angel and  husband, Mark Burnett (The Voice, Survivor, Shark Tank, Celebrity Apprentice).

Roma Downey, Star of Touch by an Angel and husband, Mark Burnett (The Voice, Survivor, Shark Tank, Celebrity Apprentice).

The History Channel has received a lot of criticism from the Christian community because of their slant on the Bible which is often wrong.

This makes one ask why Roma and Mark decided to showcase their movie on the History Channel. They indicated that..

  1. out of all the networks interviewed , the History Channel vowed to do the ‘best’ promotion and
  2. typically during the Easter season, the History Channel, as well as others, will broadcast shows calling our faith into question like: ‘Who was the Real Jesus,’ ‘Was Jesus married to Mary Magdalene?’ and shows like The DaVinci Code.

They saw it as an opportunity to broadcast the full Gospel, a meta narrative of the complete faithful message for the full month of March.

 

Pastors – Seize opportunity to be creative

Make the most of this opportunity to reach out to the people in your community who will be watching the series but may not attend church.

I believe Rick Warren said it best when he said, “One way to build a bridge between God’s Word and the issues of our day is to tie a sermon series into some cultural event, something that has already caught the attention of many people.”

He cited an example that when we were going through an economic crisis here in America, he preached a sermon on God’s principles for money management demonstrating HOW the Bible offers wise and practical advice on how to handle your finances.

Warren also took advantage on riding the Passion wave by Mel Gibson in that he preached a series entitled, “How Love Speaks: 7 Words From the Cross”.

Pastors –  Don’t forget Facebook and Twitter

Pastors, Bible teachers, small group leaders who are active with the social networks such as Facebook or Twitter,  you can connect with your congregation, groups, friends  using these platforms as well.  You can speak to one another during commercials or after the show or even the next day.

Pose questions of your own and or pose the questions using the study guidebook made available from Outreach.com .

Do you blog?

Of course, if you have a blog you could use that as a platform as well to dialog with your folks.

Resources are available – some even FREE!

Working with The Bible series team, Outreach has produced The Bible 30 Day Church Experience Kit along with a small group DVD study and personal guidebook so that you can help your church and community experience the Bible in a whole new way.

Outreach, Inc. also hopes pastors will encourage their flock to host their own viewing parties and are providing FREE “Bible Viewing Host Kits” to anyone interested.

Added Bonus

I just heard an interview from Mark and Roma that  the Lifetime Network will also air The Bible Miniseries on Mondays AND there will be a repeat broadcast on Wednesday evening on the History Channel – that’s THREE viewing opportunities available!

Won’t you ride this wave?

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Gun Control or Anger Management?

Anger managment

Is it really gun control or a NEED to manage our anger to life’s disappointments in whatever ways they present themselves?

There is so much talk about gun control especially as so many innocent lie in the murderous wake of obviously sick individuals.

What would drive a person to go and shoot up people in a movie theater or kill innocent children at an elementary school or kill people on your job or officers of the law? One word – ANGER.

I am an advocate for gun control, however, I believe if all the guns were confiscated people would still find other ways to hurt others. Why? Because ANGER is the real source of the problem.

Anger is a God-given emotion given to all of us.  I think without it we would all spontaneously combust.  There are legitimate times when we have the right to be angry with people and circumstances.

However, the Bible is clear in that we are to be careful that in our anger we do not sin.

In other words, the expression of our anger must be properly managed.

Are we helpless?

When we hear of senseless crimes on the innocent, we often feel helpless.  All we can do is talk about it, question what would possess them and lastly on a positive note, we can pray for those mourning  family members left behind.

However, the church does not have look far to see that our congregations are filled with people living on the edge.

Challenge for the churches

We need to teach from our pulpits on the subject of ANGER Management.  The truth is any of us are subject to lose control and could quickly find ourselves on the other end of the law.

Here are some topics to get us started on perhaps a sermon series on the subject of Anger Management. Be creative!

  • Anger – the emotion God created in me.
  • I have a right to be angry about ____?
  • Healthy vs. unhealthy anger
  • Anger, the cover up (what’s really going on with me?)
  • Anger: Your thoughts are your enemy
  • Uncontrolled anger can lead to:___________
  • Signs you need a temper time-out
  • When anger becomes danger
  • Anger management techniques

Be relevant – illustrate life application

As I opened up this blog I think the problem with people is more than guns and one’s access to them and more about the management of life’s frustrations, pains and loss.

It’s important to connect with people on their real life issues.  Jesus did it.  The Bible is filled with passages in which to draw from.   Issues that are never addressed can lead to devastating results.

Now instead of just talking about what’s been plastered over the news, use it as a sign to assess whether or not you need to give birth to a sermon addressing that topic.

How are you being relevant to real life issues concerning your congregation?

 

 

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