10 Ways to Improve Sermon Series Planning

6. Shoot for 8 to 10 series throughout the year.

Your average series should be 4 to 6 weeks. If you’re teaching through a book and it needs to go longer than that, try to break it up into multiple series. Every time you start a series, it creates an opportunity for people to invite their friends. You want more opportunities for people to invite their friends.

7. Plan ahead.

You can wait until Saturday to finish your message, but try to at least outline your topics a couple of months in advance. When you do that, you free up creative people to plan series packaging, service elements, and creative communications to enhance your teaching. You also provide time for appropriate promotions to occur.

8. Plan with a team.

One team may drive the topics that are addressed throughout the year. Another team may drive the series packaging, including identifying titles and visual images. Another team may develop the services elements and execution. Whatever the case, the end result will always be better when you have the right people engaged in a team approach.

9. Remember the people who already attend your church are your best promotions vehicle.

You can spend a lot of money on advertising or direct mail, but the number one way new people will attend your services is through an invitation from someone who already attends your church. Want more people to show up? Make it easier for people to invite their friends.

10. Pastors should teach, and artists should be creative.

The series I’ve experienced with the biggest impact both numerically and in life change have occurred when artists let the pastor drive the teaching and pastors let the artists drive the creative elements. The pastors control this. If they’re willing to empower artists, God can use this creativity to prepare people’s hearts for the message.

By the way, this is one of the key areas of ministry where I provide consulting for churches. I can facilitate your planning for your annual teaching calendar, help you create systems for series and service planning and walk you through a process to improve your series promotions. That may be something you’d like to consider as you gear up for the new ministry year. If so, here’s a contact form to start the conversation. 

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Tony Morgan
Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.