Yes, I’m one of “those” preachers. I plan my sermons well in advance. While we must deviate from our plans at times, I have all my 2011 Sunday morning titles and texts planned (and have for about six weeks). I did this for 2010, too, and it was wonderful. I changed the plan a couple of times, but that was okay, because I still knew the direction I wanted to go.
But, what about Sunday nights? Those “PM sermons” are often unplanned and can still leave us thinking about what to preach from week to week. I plan a few of them well ahead of time, but I like to keep Sunday nights free for more flexible scheduling.
Here are some things I have done, or have in my plans to do in the future on Sunday nights.
1. Q&A Night. We started this at Lebanon Road this year, and it has been well received. We have members submit questions in boxes and then answer 1 or 2 each time. We have these every other month.
2. “Children’s Emphasis” Night. We also started this in 2010. Many have done things like this in the past, but it still works! I preach about 10 minutes for our children, who all sit down front with me. Usually, I involve them with questions, and I try to have a song that goes with the Bible story, too. Then, I preach about 10 or 15 minutes to the entire assembly, and base my sermon on the story we have discussed with the kids. While I have a lot of work to do on these, they have also been very well received. We do these every other month, as well.
3. Old Testament Book of the Week. Todd Clippard mentioned this to me. There are 39 books in the Old Testament. By the time you figure in VBS, Gospel Meeting(s), times you are away, and other special Sunday night services, that’s about how many Sunday nights you preach each year. Why not preach one sermon from each book of the Old Testament. It’s a good way to preach from some books that are often neglected.
4. Sermon in Song and Scripture. An idea I got from Andy Kizer, we did a couple of these when I lived in Haleyville. The sermon is exactly what it sounds like. There is no “real” preaching, but the entire time is spent singing and reading God’s Word on a specific topic. These are especially useful when the church calendar is filled, or near holiday times.
5. Singing Emphasis Nights. Many congregations still have a Sunday night where they spend more of the time singing (at Lebanon Road, ours is on Wednesday night), but why not have a series (or, at least, a regular part of your preaching) on the songs that we sing. Base a sermon on a song. My dad does this at Central, and it helps make the singing nights even more special.
There are so many more I could mention, but I want to hear from you. What are some things you have preached on specifically on Sunday nights, or have heard preached on, that were especially meaningful? Leave a comment with your list.
—-and, please, DON’T constantly preach on worship attendance on Sunday night!!!