Well, it’s summer! Many of you who read this will be in the middle of Vacation Bible School, or maybe off on your own much-needed vacation, or perhaps you’re trying to do ministry with fewer volunteers because of travel schedules, Covid-19, etc.
Wherever you are in your journey, don’t forget that the church calendar always has ups and downs, and that’s a good thing. There are seasons that are hectic, followed by seasons of rest, and that creates a rhythm that allows us to prepare for whatever is next along the way.
If you have some extra time, I would encourage you to check out a new tool that I think is an awesome resource for pastors and church communications professionals: SermonShots!
I’m going to write more about it soon, but essentially, it allows you to upload (or import from Youtube) your latest message video and clip short pieces from it to use in social media posts.
It has tremendous potential as a video-based social media tool and, best of all, you can jump in and try it for free!
And here are this week’s sermon ideas…
Sermon Ideas Based on the Lectionary
For July 24, 2022
Year C – Seventh Sunday After Pentecost
First Reading and Psalm
WORKING TITLE: God Never Gives Up on His People
Your life is a lesson to others about what it looks like to follow Jesus. There are TWO big lessons Hosea’s life teaches everyone else. 1. Rebellion leads to ruin. 2. Repentance leads to renewal.
WORKING TITLE: Oh God of Our Salvation
At the end of the day, we need to be healed and made whole, restored to the condition in which God intended us to thrive, surrounded by his peace, assured by his love, and blessed by his righteousness.
Alternate First Reading and Psalm
WORKING TITLE: Raising an Outcry to God for Justice
For every outcry of pain and oppression, Christians should be raising an outcry to God for justice and mercy. We can call out to God, boldly, on the basis of what we know about his character as he has revealed himself.
WORKING TITLE: Keep Going, Remembering What God Has Told You
Spiritual growth isn’t always about observing rituals or collecting more knowledge. Some of our greatest growth will happen as we personally encounter God and experience him making himself known to us.
WORKING TITLE: Reasons to Keep Going in Your Faith
Wherever you are in your Christian walk, keep going! There’s never been a better decision anyone could have made. No matter what new philosophy may come your way, remember that your faith rests in the person and work of Jesus Christ, not any tradition or innovation.
WORKING TITLE: Prayer: How to Keep Holding On
Prayer is easy enough. It’s just a matter of having a conversation with God. What’s hard is continuing the conversation with God when you’re just not sure if he’s listening. Don’t give up on prayer! God may be saying Yes, No, or Wait, but prayer is never wasted. We grow spiritually anytime we’re talking to God about our lives and our world.
Creative Sermon Series Ideas from MinistryPass
My favorite resource for sermon series and message ideas, complete series graphics, and video bumpers (but NOT full notes or sermon outlines) to get you started is MinistryPass! Each week, I’ll feature a series I would recommend checking out for the upcoming season of the church year. This week:
From the Description:
Based on the book To My Friend Who Left the Faith by Wade Bearden, this series addresses four reasons that so many individuals have abandoned church in recent years. Bearden asks, “Does doubt have a place in church? How do I know that Christianity is true? If God is so good, why do some Christians act so terribly? How can a good God allow so much pain and suffering?” Examined with empathy and grace, this series empowers pastors to address and support both believers and nonbelievers in their congregation. This series can be used in conjunction with Wade’s book, as well as in small groups and Sunday School classes.
Books, Links, and Resources for Pastors and Church Leaders
- Wade Bearden just released a very timely new book, To My Friend Who Left the Faith: A Letter to a Prodigal from a Prodigal.
- Watch Lane Sebring’s video where he tackles the question, Are Shorter Sermons Better?
- Devin Hargrove offers some design and communications advice, Canva vs. Photoshop: Which Photo Editing Solution is Best For Your Needs?
- Pastor Rick Warren gives some helpful advice, 9 Steps to Breaking a Bad Habit.
- Cat LaPlante writes some excellent tips for creative teams, 5 Time-Saving Tips To Level Up Your Communications Strategy.
- A recent Gallup poll indicates that Fewer in U.S. Now See Bible as Literal Word of God.
- Over at MinistryPass is a pretty good list of 19 Podcasts Pastors Listen To.
- Adam Russell Taylor writes a heartfelt Pastoral Letter to the Exhausted Majority.
A Conference for Church Communications Leaders
The Church Communicator Conference is specially designed for the accidental church communicator, the one that wears many hats and may have stumbled upon this role without a plan. Lead pastors and executive pastors will also benefit from this conference as it will introduce principles and concepts that will assist with creating a unified communication strategy that aligns with the vision and mission of the church.
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About the Art: Oaks at Mamre, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.