Collaborative Sermon Planning - Part 2

So something occurred to me as I have been reflecting on the recent Collaborative Sermon Planning Workshop that I just completed with about 15 staff members and church members...
I have a paper due on September 1st on Pastoral Leadership, and I was going to write it about something else, but I just realized that this is better.

So that was cool. 

We came up with quite a few ideas for sermon series including some of the titles for the sermons and a few Scripture passages that will help guide the preaching.  Here they are in their embryonic form.  I submit them as a way for anyone following along to see what can happen during this process.  I have also indicated when the group suggested that we do the series and some of the ideas that that they had for creatively teaching.

If you like any of these ideas---go for it, steal them.  Or you can wait for us to do them and you can download all of the finished product from my Sermon Share page at  At Sermon Share you can download sermon audio, bulletin insert notes, power points and find a link to the blog post for that particular sermon.

Here we go... 

"Fine Tuned" (9 week series) Fall of 2012
A Study of the Beatitudes - Matthew 5:1-12
the idea behind this one had to do with the way we get desensitized due to the noise, violence, sin and other junk in the world and lose our "reception" to God's voice. 

"Creed" (6 weeks) 2013
A study of the Apostles Creed
originally this was a 9 week series, but the group suggested it be shortened.  several members also indicated that this would be a great sermon series to promote Evangelism

"God's Politics" Sunday Prior to the 2012 Election in November
the group really wanted me to address the election and we talked about how we needed to highlight Christian citizenship in the kingdom of God and allegiance to Christ rather than political parties. 

"Patriotic" Sunday After the Election & Prior to Veterans Day in November
the group also wanted me to preach a comforting sermon after the election that would offer peace to those who were upset at the outcome and humility to those who were happy.     

"The Book" (4 weeks) Winter of 2012
A sermon series on the Bible using Psalm 119
Week 1: Inspiration - where did we get the Bible?
Week 2: Authority - is the Bible trustworthy?
Week 3: Revelation - what do we mean by "God's Word?"
Week 4: Guide - how do we use the Bible?
this was by far one of the series that the group wanted to do the most. 

"Taking A Stand" (4 weeks) 2013
Grace-filled responses to hot button issues
Week 1: Choosing Life - Abortion
Week 2: Going Green - Environmental Issues
Week 3: Being Human - Sexuality
Week 4: Saving Grace - Pluralism
the group thought that this would be a good series to help Christians learn how to discuss these hard issues with friends, family, co-workers, etc. 

"Happy?" (4 weeks) 2013
Finding true purpose in a false culture
Week 1:  Hope from Hopelessness - rejecting negativity as resurrection people
Week 2: Your Good Work - doing what God wants you to do (Eph 2:8-10)
Week 3: Blessed - realizing you have exactly what you need (stewardship focus)
Week 4: Pay it Forward - defying a culture of self-gratification
the group really liked this series and we spent some time talking about some possibilities to market it with a huge 70's happy face sign, etc.  they did not see the urgency of preaching it next year. 

"Together" (5 weeks) Possibly 2012 (my executive decision)
What does it mean to be the Church?
Week 1:  Gathering Together - Worship
Week 2: Kneeling Together - Pray
Week 3: Learning Together - Grow
Week 4: Loving Together - Love
Week 5: Serving Together - Serve
this reflected "The Five Things" our core values, but could easily be used by any church as they are essentially the "Great Ends" of the church.  

"Social" (6 weeks) 2013
A Study of the Book of James
Week 1:  Trials and Temptations
Week 2: Listening & Doing
Week 3: Playing Favorites
Week 4: Faith & Deeds
Week 5: Taming the Tongue
Week 6: Two Kinds of Wisdom
this study on James would use "Social Media" as a theme.  there are all kinds of ways we could incorporate facebook, twitter, etc. into the series.  the group really liked this, but wanted to wait until 2013 to do it. 

"Ever After" (4 weeks) Easter 2012
What happens when we die?
Week 1:  The Promise - resurrection and what it means
Week 2:  Fired - is there a Hell?
Week 3: Is Heaven for Real - using the bestselling book; is it authentic?
Week 4: Tickets - who gets to go to heaven?
the group was unanimous in wanting to do this series this year, and decided that Easter was the best time to make it happen. 

"Dusty Old Stuff" (7 weeks) Winter 2012
Week 1:  Denominations - realities of a post Christian culture 
Week 2: Three is a Magic Number - the Trinity
Week 3:  Providential - God's sovereignty
Week 4: Predestined - what does it mean to be chosen?
Week 5: Baptized - why is it so important?
Week 6: Filled - the Lord's Supper for Presbyterians
Week 7: ReFormed - why the church must change
surprisingly to me this was one of the series that got the most energy in our meeting.  the group really wanted to have these topics be part of a study, primarily so that they would be able to speak about them with authority. 

"Trusting God" (5 weeks) 2013
Learning to let go and let God
Week 1:  Promise - what does God tell us he will do for us?
Week 2: Presence - how can we feel God around us?
Week 3:  Provision - how we can now God supplies our needs (stewardship focus)
Week 4: Power - what do we really believe about God's power?
Week 5:  Protection - do we trust God enough to lean on him?
one of the participants basically gave us this outline in alliterated form.  I added "presence."  

"Proverbs" (6 weeks) 2013
An overview of Proverbs and a study of themes 
Week 1:  Wisdom for the Young
Week 2: Warning
Week 3: Wise Living
Week 4: Life Lessons
Week 5: Benefits of Wisdom
Week 6: Wisdom for Leaders
the group was very excited about this study, but suggested I shorten it and really teach about the structure and the use of the Proverbs in the ancient Hebrew context in addition to doing an overview.

"Walls" (4 weeks) Lent 2012
The obstacles that we build that keep us from truly living
Week 1: Division
Week 2: Gossip
Week 3: Grudges
Week 4: Judgment
the group felt pretty strongly that this should be a lenten study, and they really got captured by the imagery of walls---suggesting that we build some walls in the sanctuary and slowly take them down over the course of the series as we move toward Easter

"The Battle" (7 weeks) 2013
A study on the armor of God and spiritual warfare
Week 1:  The Powers that Be - an intro
Week 2: Truth
Week 3:  Righteousness
Week 4:  Gospel of Peace
Week 5: Faith
Week 6: Salvation
Week 7: Sword
the group liked the idea of doing this series, but did not want to do it next year. 

"Isms" (4 weeks) 2013
Taking on the principalities and powers of our day
Week 1:  Racism
Week 2: Sexism
Week 3: Ageism
Week 4: Materialism   
this series got some buzz in the group initially, but they quickly relegated it to the backburner. I added the last "ism" to make it a four-parter

"The Missionary Next Door" (3 weeks) Winter of 2012
Week 1:  Won't You Be My Neighbor? - isolation in our culture
Week 2:  Mission Field - sharing the gospel where you are
Week 3: Salt & Light - influenced or influencer?
this series stayed on the "to do" list, and the group wanted to do it when we had higher attendance in the winter.  there was a lot of creative buzz around a Mr. Rogers theme.  

"Children's Stories" (TBD weeks)
This was a proposed series where we would take the "keystone" Bible stories that most people learned in Sunday school and give them a twist.  We didn't work much farther on it.  


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