This week, I attended an annual sermon planning retreat in southern Ohio with a good friend of mine who is also a United Methodist pastor. Together, we plan out sermons for the new year.
One of the reasons why I like to go away on a retreat for sermon planning is because of the opportunity to see things from a new perspective. This was the 2nd year in a row that the retreat was held in southern Ohio. We were near a beautiful lake and the weather couldn't have been better!
In addition to the sermon planning, my friend and I spent time in worship and prayer. We also had a lot of fun preparing our meals, getting some exercise, reading, and catching up with each other since we don't see each other that often.
The picture is the sun setting on the lake from the deck of the home we were staying. We sat on the deck and read from the Psalms.
Here are the sermons that we planned out for 2011. Our goal is to plan sermons around five key areas throughout the year; 1) appealing to the unchurched 2) discipleship/Christian growth 3) pastoral care 4) equipping/sending 5) stewardship. In addition to the sermon series, we also will be using the lectionary appointed readings for several Sundays as well.
2011 Sermon Series:
- January - "It's Not too Late" (A 4-part series on how it's not too late for the church to live out it's mission of offering God's love to the world.)
- February - "Movie Month" (A 3-part series on connecting movies with our faith.)
- March/April - "An App for That" (A 7-part Lenten focus on practicing key spiritual disciplines.)
- May - A celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible & a 4- part sermon series on "Everytime I Think of You" which will focus on the opening greetings from several of Paul's New Testament letters.
- June - A 3-part series, "Expressions of the Heart," based on the Book of Psalms.
- July - A 4-part series, "The Greatest Letter Ever Written," based on Paul's letter to the Romans.
- August - A 4-part series, "Some Things Never Change" based on four different Old Testament Minor Prophets.
- September - A 3-part series, "In Your Wildest Dreams" which will focus on the dream that God has for the world, our lives, and our church.
- September/October - A 6-part series, "Treasures of the Transformed Life" which will focus on stewardship.
- November/December - An Advent series, "Christmas Around the World" which will focus on the uniqueness of how the birth of Jesus Christ is anticipated and celebrated in four different parts of the world in which the West Ohio Conference has a mission partnership.