C2W for Overwhelmed by the World

Here is the Call to Worship I wrote for the last week of our Overwhelmed Sermon Series. This week’s focus is on being overwhelmed by the world and our scriptures are John 3:16-17 & 16:33.

The Call
God calls us to worship
   and we come with images of fires and floods in our minds,
with hurting and worry in our hearts,
   overwhelmed by all the bad news.
God calls us to worship to remind us goodness and life will always win
   and God has already conquered this world.
God calls us to worship to revive us
   for being agents of peace and justice in all places.
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C2W for Overwhelmed by Clutter

Here is the Call to Worship I wrote for the fourth week of our Overwhelmed Sermon Series. This week’s focus is on being overwhelmed by clutter and our scriptures are Romans 12:1-2 and Ephesians 3:14-19.
The Call
God calls to us from beyond our cluttered thoughts
   to a quiet place away from our cluttered lives.
God calls just for us,
   we don’t need any of our stuff.
God calls us to calm our overwhelm and guide us step by step
to create peaceful order in our world.
god is bigger than mess

C2W for Overwhelmed by Busyness

Here is the Call to Worship I wrote for the third week of our Overwhelmed Sermon Series. This week’s focus is on being overwhelmed by busyness and our scripture is Luke 10:38-42, the story of Mary and Martha.

The Call
We come today, busy
   with full schedules and furrowed brows.
We come here to worship
   in between the family gatherings and errands
this is just one thing on our list for today.
   Slow us down God.
Remind us that for now, only one thing is needed
   to be still in your presence.
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C2W for Overwhelmed by Expectation

Here is the Call to Worship I wrote for the first week of our Overwhelmed Sermon Series. This week’s focus is on being overwhelmed by expectation and our scripture is Micah 6:6-8.

The Call
God calls all of us children to rest and worship.
   If God’s calling we better look our best!
And smile!
   And not be late!
And the kids better behave.
   And don’t forget the food bank donations!
And.. and.. and..
   God is calling all of us children to rest and worship.
All God asks is for us to show up, ready to receive and then to go back into the world
   to do justice, show mercy, and humbly walk with God.

 
I also plan on showing this great video from Igniter Media for our Children’s Time:

Overwhelmed Sermon Series

Not sure what to preach on for the rest of the summer? Struggling to plan ahead? Drowning in the work of ministry? Feeling overwhelmed? Well, you’re in the right place.

I’m excited to share with you a new sermon series on feeling overwhelmed. I believe offering peace and rest is one of the great gifts The Church can provide for over-worked culture.

Download it here: Worship Plan for Overwhelmed seriesoverwhelmed ad

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!

2017-2018 Worship Planner

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!

Church year

Summer at the Movies Worship Plans

God on Film

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