I’m using this series as a lead-up to the start of school and our ‘Back to Church Sunday’. It seems like a good time to offer words of comfort and hope for those of us who feel chronically overwhelmed. I will definitely be preaching to myself for these 5 weeks!
I will be sharing prayers and a Call to Worship for each week, so stay tuned for more!
I adapted this theme from Rev. Amy Probst at Mafair UMC in Kingsport TN.
I hope this will enrich your ministry! Blessings & Peace to you!
In my context as a United Methodist pastor, most new pastoral appointments begin July 1st every year. This means I end up thinking about my worship year running from July through June. It feels right to kind of go along with the school year, so in April or May, I start thinking and praying about what our church needs in worship for the year ahead. Each year I map out the dates and holidays for every Sunday and then I start breaking the year up into series chunks. I thought I’d share the blank plan for anyone wanting to plan your year of worship. Here it is:2017-2018 Worship Planner I highlighted first Sundays as we traditionally have communion those weeks. I also bold-ed any date that was a 5th Sunday since we try to do an alternative to a sermon on those dates.
For the first half of my preaching career I was a very happy lectionary preacher. But I was reading a lot about church revitalization and one of the big suggestions was to preach in series. Sermon series engage congregations and keep visitors coming back for more. I started out using lectionary texts to develop series and then I branched out to church-wide book studies. I was very excited to discover the new book, A Preacher’s Guide to Lectionary Sermon Series.
Now that I’ve been preaching in series I don’t think I’ll ever go back! Having a plan to visually see how our sermon series will flow through the year has been awesome. I like to have an ‘open’ week or 2 between series especially after major holidays like Christmas and Easter. Most of all planning ahead has been a blessing to my ministry. I haven’t thought, “Shoot! What am I preaching on this Sunday?!” in years! Plus with a plan like this our music director is able to find pieces that support the themes, making for a beautifully focused worship experience each week.
Happy planning and prayers for all those UM pastors making moves!
Two years ago I decided to do a sermon series using popular movies. I thought it would be a fun series to do during the summer. It worked well during that time when people were in and out of worship because it wasn’t a series where each week built off the one before but it still had a unifying theme. We watched the movies together at church on Wednesdays but I made sure to include enough information about the plot in my sermon so seeing the movie wasn’t a requirement. I would also show the trailer or a clip from the movie for the Children’s Time during worship.
I titled the series Summer at the Movies: Finding God on Film and the overarching theme was that God is everywhere and we can find spiritual Truths in seemingly secular places. We also used all secular songs for our special music during this series. As Rob Bell says, “Everything is spiritual.”
The series went over so well I’m now planning it for the third year in a row! Here are my worship plans for the first two years I did the series. Click on the links below to download. Have fun and enjoy! Summer at the Movies worship plans
This year the leadership team at our church read Robert Schnase’s book The Five Practices of Fruitful Congregationsand we wanted to share the great information and inspiration he provides with the rest of the congregation. I decided to use the season of Easter to preach a series on this book. Focusing on these five practices will help us prepare for the big event we had planned on Pentecost. Pentecost is traditionally known as the birthday of The Church so we thought, let’s throw a big birthday party for The Church and use Pentecost as our ‘bring a friend to church’ Sunday!
You can download my worship plan for the series here: Five Practices Worship Plan
I will be posting the prayers and Call to Worships we use in the weeks ahead.
This is the image I designed to be the bulletin cover image for this series.