Summertime Preaching

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Summertime is a lower-key time for many of our churches. Kids are out of school, people are traveling, and attendance is often a little lower. While it might be tempting to launch into a series on Revelation or the “Five Keys to a Great Marriage” in hopes that people will not to want to miss a single sermon, let’s get real—it’s summer! Here are a couple of suggestions:

First, since it is highly likely your members will miss a Sabbath here and there, avoid preaching a series in which every sermon builds on a previous sermon, such as going through a book of the Bible. Instead, preach a series of stand-alone sermons. These sermons can be related thematically, like a series on creation titled, “God of Wonders” or a series of lesser-known Bible characters titled, “Forgotten Heroes of the Bible.” Visitors will also appreciate a “one-off” sermon.

Second, the Preacher of Ecclesiastes says, “for everything there is a season,” so I believe in matching my sermons to the mood of the season for best effectiveness. Remember, you are now competing with the carefree, summertime mindset of your members. Ask yourself: if I was asked to preach at a family camp, what would I preach? Now bring that thinking to your summer pulpit. Aim for more inspiration and less hard-hitting theology. Come fall, you’ll be back to a more challenging topic that likely requires a series of sermons, but summer is a different season.

Jim Lorenz is Ministerial Director for the Northern California Conference