Taking Series Seriously – Part 2

For a series to work well, it is important to recognize the role of the Spirit and have flexibility in scheduling.  Here are two more important issues to consider:

Avoiding the sameness – A long series in the same book can get old.  There are several ways to avoid this.  Vary the message structure (include a first-person sermon, a more narrative sermon, a good old clear deductive sermon, etc.)  Vary the text length (some weeks you may need to cover only a few verses, but other weeks it would be possible to cover a chapter or two).  Perhaps sameness can be avoided by having another speaker involved (make sure all speakers in a series are on the same page regarding the books overall idea, structure, etc.).  And, of course, a long series in the same book can get old, so . . .

Length of series – Think through the length of the series.  The old days of seven years verse-by-verse through one book are the old days.  Today some advocate that a series should not go longer than 8 weeks.  Others say  4 or 5.  I say you have to think through the situation – who is preaching, to whom, what are they used to, what is the preacher capable of doing effectively, what is the subject matter, etc.  No hard and fast rules, but several months will probably get old for some.  Cover ground more quickly, or break the series and then return to it.

It is a good idea to usually preach sermons in series.  It is a good idea to think through your series seriously.

3 thoughts on “Taking Series Seriously – Part 2

  1. I sometimes try to do mini-series within series. I am preaching through the book of Acts this year (hopefully I will not fall into your verse-by-verse for seven years trap). But I am currently in a mini-series on stewardship. I was at Acts 4:32-37. I will follow that by returning to Acts 2:44-47 to look at what aspects of stewardship are addressed there and then will jump out of order to look at Acts 20:35. While I recognize that I am jumping WAY out of order to address the Acts 20 passage, it lets me keep the theme of stewardship together and provide a little bit of a break from the steady working through the book together. I have done that before and have found it helpful…both for my congregation as well as for me!

  2. About the length of a series in a book, how about breaking up the book into a series of series. For example, one could preach through Revelation and deal with the 7 churches in a series on the 7 churches. Take a short break with a one, two or three part series on a holiday, other topic or something. Then go back and take the next logical section and as they say, rinse and repeat!

  3. Thanks Peter for your comments. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I have noticed that people are already getting the theme of the book of Colossians as we have started a series in it. This was encouraging and I know the Holy Spirit is moving. Last week we had 4 non believers show up which was a total surprise to me and my message was entitled, “The Supremacy of the Gospel”—and I got to proclaim the gospel to them. So yes, the Lord was working!

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