It’s easy to fall into a rut with planning a series. Either a whole book, or a whole section, divided equally into chunks. But there can be variety in a series.
How about a survey message to start and/or finish? Giving people a sense of the whole will help with the parts.
Why not linger longer in key sections? Most of us typically feel like we could go again with the content we omitted after a message. Most listeners fail to really take onboard a message after one shot. Why not linger longer in a key section for a couple or three messages? I’m listening to a series with three messages from John 1:14-18, followed by a couple of messages that reach out into the rest of John.
Why not pause for fuller context? That is, sometimes a New Testament book will lean heavily on Old Testament content, why not take a message from back there? For example, I can imagine a series through Hebrews that includes three messages on the key Old Testament passages – Psalm 2, Psalm 95, etc., followed by the Hebrews section that builds on them.
How about tasting the themes from other writers? In a series on a book or section of a book, why not take a message and see how other writers handle the same theme and how they nuance it?
How about a mid-series pause for applicational underlining? We tend to march on, passage on passage. But why not pause mid-series to review and underline the applications that have become evident thus far?
Then there is the benefit of changing perspective too. Perhaps you’ve preached a book from Paul’s perspective, why not try a message engaging with the letter from the perspective of the recipients. It could work with anything from Romans to Philemon. Changing perspective can really underline the reality in which the text was written and its relevance for us today – it’s not just a timeless religious text, it’s a relevant application of the gospel to real people in real situations.
Plenty more that could spice up a series too . . . any thoughts?