Cross Fit Faith for Lent

Cross Fit Faith (1)

Health and fitness has become its own culture and much like the Church, these programs seek to help people tackle the challenges of personal growth and improvement. Any good plan will tell you it’s not a quick fix, it’s not a diet, but learning a new way of life that often means unlearning old habits and beliefs.
Lent is the perfect time to train in our faith. This series approaches the journey of spiritual growth like a health and fitness plan for the soul. Using the theme of ‘taking up our cross daily’ and following Jesus, we’ll be exploring daily practices for spiritual growth while balancing Christ’s call to bear our crosses with his promise that his ‘yoke is easy’ and his ‘burden is light’.
Download the entire 7-week worship plan here: Cross Fit Faith Lenten Worship Plan

To compliment this worship series, all of our Bible study groups will be reading Juan Huertas’ daily devotional, The Sanctuary for Lent 2019.
We’ll also be using SALT Project’s Family-Friendly Lenten Devotional, Breaking the Chains during our Family Faith Nights.

I will continue to post liturgies, prayers, Calls to Worship, and more related to this theme. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any of the resourcey goodness!

Happy Planning!

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All in the Family sermon series

I developed this 7-week sermon series for our church to help us engage with what can often be some divisive topics. Many people in our churches likely fall into the category of all in the familypeople condemned in the Bible, myself included. We’re ‘All in the Family’ already. So how do we reconcile those condemning scriptures with the message and example of an all-loving Jesus? The first two weeks of this series lay the groundwork for the deeper discussions of tattoos, divorce, wealth, female clergy, and same-sex marriage.
If you’re looking for inspiration on tackling the tough issues in worship, download the worship plan here: All in the Family worship plan

We’ve decked our sanctuary with a chain of paper people and found a similar image for our bulletin cover. I’m planning on having us sing We Are Family at least once before the series is over! Bringing some fun into worship is always awesome but especially important for a series like this.

I’m very excited for the wonderful music we’ve found to support this series. Besides the hymns listed in the worship plan our choir will be singing the follow anthems:
Shed A Little Light by James Taylor for Week 1 – Can’t We All Just Get Along?
God Is Still Speaking by Marty Haugen for Week 2 – Where Do We Keep the Family Bible?
This Is Me from The Greatest Showman for Week 3 – The Tattooed
Establish the Work of Our Hands by Porter’s Gate for Week 4 – The Rich
Christ Has Broken Down the Wall by Mark Miller (W&S #3122) for Week 5 – The Divorced
A Place at the Table by Shirley Murray & Lori True (W&S ##3149) for Week 6 – Women Preachers
Draw the Circle Wide by Gordon Light & Mark Miller (W&S #3154) for Week 7 –  Same-Sex Marriage

I pray you find this inspirational. Happy planning!

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

Sermon Series on 5 Practice of Fruitful Congregations

This year the leadership team at our church read Robert Schnase’s book The Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations and 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.

Happy Planning!

Bearing Good Fruit plain
This is the image I designed to be the bulletin cover image for this series.