August 9, 2023
How do you plan an entire year of sermons in just a few days?
In Episode 76, our host, Chris Sonksen, sits down with Pastor Alex Williams from Dream Center Church to discuss the Ultimate Sermon Calendar Guide.
Tune in as we coach you on planning an entire year's worth of sermons in just a few days! Here are a few key takeaways from this week's episode:
Planning an entire year of sermons with a planning retreat.
The first step in this process is to gather a team of creative individuals who have a passion for the Bible. These individuals will help you brainstorm topics and ideas for your sermon series. Set aside 2-3 days for a planning retreat, during which your team will immerse themselves in creative brainstorming. During this time, focus on high-level planning, discussing overarching sermon themes, and general ideas.
The retreat is an excellent opportunity to collaborate and pool in diverse perspectives, ensuring that your sermons address a broad range of spiritual needs within your congregation. This collective brainstorming will lay the foundation for a cohesive and impactful sermon calendar for the entire year.
Stay two months ahead with your sermons by meeting monthly with your team.
After the planning retreat, the work doesn't stop there. It's essential to follow up with regular meetings to plan out each month in detail. As you enter each month, gather with your team again to flesh out the sermon series for the upcoming weeks.
Encourage each team member to come prepared with ideas for scriptures, main points, stories, illustrations, and next steps. This level of preparation will ensure that your sermons are well-researched, thoughtful, and relevant to the needs of your congregation.
Find ministry and family balance with priority management.
Being a lead pastor can be demanding, and without proper priority management, it's easy to get overwhelmed and burnt out. As Pastor Alex Williams wisely pointed out, if you don't prioritize your team, your team will prioritize you. Balancing ministry and family life is crucial for maintaining a healthy and sustainable pastoral journey.
Take the time to assess your responsibilities and activities as a pastor. Make a comprehensive list of everything you do, and then ask yourself, "What do I need to stop doing or delegate?" By delegating non-essential tasks and focusing on high-impact activities, you'll create room for personal and family time while still fulfilling your pastoral duties effectively.
Embracing a Healthy Identity Beyond Church Performance:
In our performance-driven society, it's easy to tie our sense of self-worth and identity to our achievements, including church performance. However, Pastor Chris reminded us of the significance of maintaining a healthy identity, one that isn't solely centered on church success.
Avoid the pitfalls of burnout by understanding that your value as a person and a pastor goes beyond your ministry accomplishments. Take the time to nurture yourself spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Find fulfillment in your ministry while also maintaining a strong sense of self, rooted in your faith and personal growth.
Planning an entire year of sermons in just a few days may seem daunting, but with the right approach and a creative team, it becomes an achievable and rewarding endeavor. Through planning retreats, monthly meetings, priority management, and maintaining a healthy identity, you can set yourself up for a year of impactful and spiritually enriching sermons.
We hope this Ultimate Sermon Calendar Guide has inspired you to embark on a journey of intentional and purposeful sermon planning. Remember, by investing time and effort in this process, you can make a significant difference in the lives of your congregation and nurture a thriving spiritual community.
Top Quotables from this week's episode:
"There’s nothing more that tells a person they are second place than someone who looks at their phone."
"Stop worrying about time management start worrying about priority management. What are the five things you need to do before the end of the week?"
"We place too much of our identity in how well we’re doing as a pastor."
"Here's a test to determine where your identity is placed. Tell me who you are without telling me what you do."