I had intentions of writing an article on planning my summer preaching. I still might do it, but it won’t be quite as timely.
Preaching in the summer just feels different. People are busy with vacations and family plans and you can’t really count on consistent attendance. As a result, extended expositions, like the one I did from Romans last winter, just don’t seem to work for me. So, I like to pick topics where each sermon will do a decent job of standing on its own.
This year I decided to do a series called “Did God Really Say . . . ?” It’s an attempt to look at a few of those misunderstanding and misquotations that seem to infect the way we think about God. Several of the preachers I regularly listen to did similar series last year. Some took more serious approaches while others seemed to have a little more fun with it. I’ll be covering a little bit of both. We’ll look at the old saying “charity begins at home” and tackle some deeper things like “God will not give you more than you bear.”
Today I started off with an introductory sermon that set up the topic for the rest of the summer. I didn’t want it to be too heavy, but I felt the need to address a few serious topics. Since the suicide a couple weeks ago we’ve had some people questioning whether or not suicide was the unforgivable sin. I honestly thought we were beyond that kind of stuff by now, but it’s deeply engrained in a lot of people’s thinking. I brought it up briefly and did ask the family if it would be alright to do so. They gave me their blessing.
I really wish our recording picked up the laughter and responses from the congregation. They loved the introduction today.
Last year I read Preach: Theology Meets Practice by Mark Dever and Greg Gilbert. Great book! I can’t say enough about it! Add it to your library and dig in. One recommendation from the book was to provide sermon cards, with your topics and dates on them and provide them for your congregation. I decided this would be a good opportunity to do that. People responded well today. I’ll be interested to see how well they keep up in the weeks to come.
The sermon went well. I chose a bit of an inductive style for this one and I think that worked well. The text really lent itself to that. I feel like I should have worked a little more on the ending. Switching from Eden to Jesus so quickly seemed a bit abrupt, but amazingly enough they got there with me! I had good responses to that.