How to preach a sermon series


Mars Hill  have now entered week 2 of their new series going through 1 and 2 Peter, called 8witnesses.  Driscoll claims he is going to cover every verse in detail and it will take around ‘2 dozen weeks’.

I am excited about this series and am sure to follow it on the vodcast.

Let me point out some great things that Mars Hill have done for this series… and one concern:

Some great things:

1. They have planned this series.

They obviously know exactly what these books are about and have therefore been able to do a lot of planning (including tying in the children’s ministry, writing a book, and producing family devotion times). I remember talking to Alex Collins from Minster, Cardiff, and he told me that he tries to study the books he preaches a year ahead of time!

2. They have produced extra resources.

As I said above, everyone got a book to study, and there is also a great web site with loads of resources to go alongside it. This will really encourage people to go through the books for them selves and let the word dwell in them richly.

3. They have a passion

They are passionate about the Bible and the message it contains, but they are also passionate about it transforming people  – and they are doing everything they can think of to help people be transformed by the word.

I find these 3 things incredibly challenging and encouraging. I love the idea of just immersing the church in one book of the Bible a time, and helping people to engage with the book at home.

This has really challenged me to ask the questions:

-how much time do I spend in preparation prior to starting a series?

-how much do I want my people to be changed by the word, and what am I willing to do to that aim?

However, a small niggle….

They have also done an amazing ‘set’ for the ‘stage’, and Driscoll turned up in a suit and tie with a brief case for the first sermon, as though a lawyer. Now, I don’t mind drama in church, and I like having visuals up front. However, I did find this slightly distracting and started to ask whether the ‘set’ is a little over the top.

Besides that little niggle (which is there to prove that I don’t think that Driscoll is the pope), I do think we have much to learn from the Mars Hill bois on getting people into the Bible.


5 thoughts on “How to preach a sermon series

  1. I agree! But I have to ask, 2/3 of the way into the first sermon. I’m not utterly convinced of the title/text link. Maybe they will elaborate on it more, but at the moment I’m finding the trial theme distracting from the sermon…
    (Not that I could have ever done as good, let alone better!)

  2. I disagree. I found that the whole court room thing grabbed my attention for the first 180 seconds maybe, after that I was grabbed by the word of God, preached in his old dynamic ways. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Driscol is pope either (amongst my peers I’d say I’m a harshest critic) but I think we can learn alot about production from this, how a theme can tie it all together and help break it in to our “corporate identity” style minds.

  3. That is a good point.
    I’m just watching yesterdays sermon (on submission), and by now I don’t mind the set… I’ve got used to it.

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