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Mark Driscoll’s Preaching Secrets: Series, Length and Strategic Planning

The best Sundays to take off.

There are a handful of Sundays that most preachers in the U.S. can take off without hurting momentum at all. These include:

1. The first Sunday of the year, if it’s close to New Year’s Day

2. The Sunday after Christmas

3. Memorial Day weekend

4. Spring Daylight Savings weekend

5. Fourth of July weekend

6. Labor Day weekend

How to preach a long series.

Sometimes you will feel compelled to simply preach/teach something, even though it does not fit the annual calendar. To accommodate that, you can do one of two things:

1. Break up a longer book or series into smaller sections.

I am doing this with the book of Acts. It will take me 58 sermons to go through Acts. Rather than preaching all of them consecutively, over the course of a few years, I will preach from Acts during the seven to 12 weeks following Easter. After a few years, we’ll have gone through the whole book.

2. Just plow through a longer series or book of the Bible.

Don’t worry about making it fit a seasonal pattern. In the past, I did this with Genesis (one full year) and Luke (two full years), and God was gracious to grow our church in depth and size.

I hope there is some help in all of this. It’s a big brain dump for me. A lot goes on in my mind as I organize my Sunday preaching—there are innumerable variables to consider. I am praying that, through trial and error, you figure out what works best for the people and mission Jesus has given you.   

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Pastor Mark Driscoll is the Preaching and Speaking pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. He is one of the world’s most downloaded and quoted pastors. His audience—fans and critics alike—spans the theological and cultural left and right. Follow his updates at twitter.com/pastorMark.