The science of preaching is understanding and dissecting, as precisely as possible, the intention of the ancient writer of scripture.
The art of preaching is presenting ancient truth and painting a picture of how it relates to modern, everyday life in a relevant way.
Or to put it another way, effective preaching is essentially building a bridge from the then and there of the text to the here and now of everyday, modern life.
When it comes to how I outline sermons here at Preaching for Change, rather than presenting a three- or four-point traditional message, I choose to organize every preaching idea around three elements that matter greatly to the modern communicator of scriptural truth.
An angle, an anchor, and an application.
Sermon Ideas Based on the Lectionary
Note: The notes in the Reflectionary each week are based on Lectionary texts ten days out (so, the next Sunday, not the coming Sunday). If you need to see notes for this Sunday’s texts, visit last week’s Reflectionary.
For July 31, 2022
Year C – Eighty Sunday After Pentecost
First Reading and Psalm
Isaiah 1:1, 10-20
WORKING TITLE: What Love Requires of Us
God is far more interested in our repentance over sin and our work for justice than he is in any of our religious ritualism or traditions. Love doesn’t require us to know all the right doctrines or to practice the spiritual disciplines, though those have great value. Love requires loving action on behalf of those who need it most.
Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23<
WORKING TITLE: The God Who Speaks
What God desires far more than our empty praise and ritualism is genuine gratitude and thanksgiving, and he cares enough to speak to us and reveal his desire so that we aren’t left to wonder about his will.
Alternate First Reading and Psalm
WORKING TITLE: Believing God and Being Declared Righteous
God favors faith. One of the themes running throughout the entire biblical narrative is that the reward for our belief in God is his declaration that we are right with him.
WORKING TITLE: Our Real Source of Strength
Our greatest source of both strength and happiness will always be the goodness and steadfast love of God. Transfer your trust from any earthly, human source of strength and power to the goodness of God whose steadfast love will never stop pursuing his relationship with you.
Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
WORKING TITLE: Faith is Always the Way
The pathway to God’s best blessings is always by faith, demonstrated by an obedient response to his revealed will. What step is God calling you to take? Ask him and then listen, in prayer, to what God summons you to do in obedience to him. Then, by faith, take the step.
WORKING TITLE: Investing With Your Whole Heart
Your heart can be fully invested in temporary, fleeting pursuits, or in the eternal kingdom of God. What you really love is always evidenced by how you choose to invest your life.
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:
This sermon series follows characters in the Bible who found themselves on the run. No matter where they hid or how far they ran, they were never out of the reach of God’s loving care and attention.
The Time to Thrive Summit
August 2-6, 2022 (Online)
In just 5 days, join Tony Robbins, Dean Graziosi, Matthew McMcConaughey, and other special guests as they share their exact 5-step blueprint to not just survive in a world filled with uncertainty… but to THRIVE in your career, impact lives & secure your future. There is a VIP upsell offer but the event itself is free.
A Conference for Church Communications Leaders
August 22-23, 2022 (Online)
October 18-19, 2022 (Charlotte, NC)
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.
Books, Links, and Resources for Pastors and Church Leaders
- A video from Lane Sebring, How to Preach with Confidence When Pastors are Losing Trust.
- Ron Edmondson blogs about 7 Ways I Protect My Family Life as a Pastor.
- Pastor Rick Warren writes about The Five Marks of Spiritual Maturity.
- Jennifer Butler writes about how Christian Nationalism is Dangerous to Christians.
Miss an Issue?
Read The Reflectionary Archives!
About the Art: Hofheinz-Döring, Margret, 1910-. Sunrise, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.