Some churches never try. Some always must. How do you combine a group of preachers, one Bible book and a series of Sundays into an effective series? First, there are some potential weaknesses worth noting. Inconsistent explanation of the book’s historical context, flow of thought or overarching idea. Differing perspectives on the book’s purpose or theological center. Unnecessary repetition of illustrative or supporting materials. A lack of repetition of key series elements making it seem like random messages that happen to be from one book. So what can be done to make it work?
1. Consider limiting the number of speakers. Instead of rotating through six speakers in a twelve part series, cut it down to three or four (even fewer in a shorter series). This makes for greater continuity and ownership of the series. If your church has six capable speakers, perhaps use the others to form the backbone of the next series. If your church does not have six capable speakers, then why are six preaching?
2. Have a pre-series meeting of the speakers. Have the speakers read through the book and do some initial thinking on the book’s major chunks, overarching idea and purpose, preaching sections, and a rough idea for each preaching section. This meeting could take some time, but if we place a high value on the pulpit ministry of the church, then why not? Also share any particularly helpful resources. For instance, I just started a series in 1st Peter at our church and found one commentary to be very strong on the historical background of the book. It would be better for all the speakers to read that view rather than presenting several differing perspectives.
In a few days, I’ll finish the list of suggestions.