Around this time of year I start to give serious thought to a preaching plan for next year. I am the sole pastor of a medium sized Baptist church who is responsible for the preaching slot on Sunday morning. This means that I either preach myself (around 3 weeks out of 5 this year) or I find someone else to speak.
When I studied at Carey Baptist College a few years ago, I picked up the idea from a course by Paul Windsor that it is good to preach a series from an Old Testament book, a Gospel and an Epistle each year. He also suggested doing a topical series and taking time to focus on special days in the church calendar, such as Pentecost Sunday.
This year I have taught a fairly long series in the Gospel of Luke (in two parts), a few weeks on the Self-Denial mission material from Tranzsend, a series in the book of Isaiah, and next month I am planning a short series on the Holy Spirit in the book of Ephesians. When we have guest speakers, I don’t require them to fit in with any series I’m doing, and enjoy it when they choose to address a topic I would be reluctant to, such as a guest speaker next month who is hopefully going to speak on “Christians and Sport.”
My question to others is…how do you choose what books/topics to focus on?
Obviously this is a matter for prayer and discussion with leadership, but do you have goals you try to reach as far as variety? What are the factors that feed into your planning?
Part of me believes that it is important what books we teach when, but a bigger part believes that God will get his message across regardless of what book it’s from, if we do the study and seek him.
I would be especially interested to hear from those who have responsibility for the weekly preaching portion of the Sunday service. Blessings.
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Robyn Mellar-Smith is a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, and the pastor of Epuni Baptist Church in Lower Hutt.