By visiting churches across the country, I’ve learned that many churches use sermon series to hone their message and encourage people to invite their friends, not just for one week but perhaps for four or six. I’ve also noticed that some churches implement sermon series more effectively than others. And some series engage the unchurched better than others.
You can learn how to do things right from the churches who are doing it wrong. Here are ten ways to sink your sermon series:
- Address questions that no one is asking. Your time is limited, so respond to questions people really are asking. For example, How do I raise my kids? How can I save my marriage? What am I supposed to do with my life?
- Schedule your series to last more than six weeks. People consider a new series an opportunity to invite their friends, but the longer the series drags on, the less likely those they invite will come.
- Pack your church calendar so full that inviting friends to worship isn’t a priority. More activities and ministries on the schedule result in less focus on weekend services. Ask yourself: What is our primary way of reaching people who don’t attend church? If the answer is your weekend service, focus on making that as effective as possible by doing less of something else.
- Teach too much in each message. Too many points can confuse your listeners. Pick one point and stick to it. And remember, brevity is your friend.
- Teach the truth without life application. People often don’t need more knowledge, but rather to learn how to put their existing knowledge into action. They know Jesus died for them, but what does this mean for them when their alarm goes off on Monday morning?