For a long time now I’ve either overheard or been a part of debates over the best methods for designing worship services and preparing the messages. As for me, I have to admit… I’m a geek for a good Sermon Series!
One big reason I enjoy a sermon series is that I really enjoy theming. We’ve had exciting series like “The Greatest Showman” where we sang songs from the show, had dancers and gymnasts tumbling down the aisles, served popcorn in the foyer each week, and debuted our confetti cannon! We had a very thoughtful series called “Faces of Faith” that included monologues and duets acting out perspectives of characters from Christ’s story. The music and theatre components of a service is a meaningful way for those with particular gifts to express their passion for God. It also adds a lot for those receiving the movement of the spirit in different and artful ways.
One of the concepts I talk about in the work I do as a worship design consultant is the idea of immersive worship. I believe having creative staging takes you away from the world outside of the church and brings you into the worship space and sermon series. This is another reason I enjoy doing sermon series. From umbrellas in the “Grace Like Rain” series to street lamps during the “City Sidewalks” series, and Snoopy’s doghouse in “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” we have had a lot of fun thinking about how to transform our environment to fit the series. Last year, during our “Summer Road Trip” series, we even had a motorcycle and street signs in the sanctuary!
As the ministry team began visioning for the current series, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” we knew we wanted to have Mister Roger’s front porch in the foyer and his living room and kitchen set up in the sanctuary. This proved to be a lofty vision. How thankful we are to be in relationship with such amazing and talented neighbors in our church family. Kate Blain came to the rescue! With her experience and skills in dressing sets for theatre she was the perfect person to help us pull off our vision. It was so much fun to see families up on the porch taking pictures with each other.
Yes, there are a multitude of reasons why I love sermon series but, to me, one of the best reasons is that they provide our worship attendants with something to anticipate each week. It is so important for us to be inviting people into our faith community. We love when we can share our faith experiences with others and the best way to encourage that is by word of mouth. So, what does it sound like when you’re talking about your church?
“We’d love for you to try out our church. The preacher is good. I think they preached out of the bible last week. Anyway, the music is good.”
This is a perfectly fine approach. I mean, hey, at least you’re opening up the conversation! What I like about having a sermon series is that you can be a bit more specific in your language.
“It’d be great to have you in worship with us. This month we are doing a series on Mister Rogers! Our pastor is so good at applying scriptures to his philosophies and the music is either from or in the style of what was played on his show.”
What have you enjoyed about sermon series? Could they help you share your faith with others through relatable and familiar narratives? Could inviting people to attend worship with you be easier when describing what our series is about? Are you enticed to attend more regularly? I sure hope so. Because, whatever the sermon series, we intend on putting in the work to make it something you are not going to want to miss!