3 Reasons I Preach in a Series


blue flame bibleI rarely preach one-and-done sermons—very rarely. Come to any service at Saddleback and you’ll catch us either at the beginning, middle or end of a series. Why do I do this?

  • It builds momentum. Momentum matters in ministry. It’s what keeps your church going in the same positive direction. It isn’t easy moving people in a direction they often don’t want to go. In a series each message builds on each other. Your congregation begins to anticipate the next sermon.
  • It creates word-of-mouth advertising. Preaching in a series can be the best advertising you have. Preach on a topic that touches the lives of your congregation, they’ll tell their friends.
  • It saves study time. Every time I preach I study more than I can possibly use. Most of us are like that. Often each sermon could be a series. Plus, it takes less time to study for four sermons on a similar topic than sermons on four different topics.

I always announce a new series on days we expect a lot of visitors, like Easter. It creates a hook that brings many first time visitors back for part two the next week. I think the best length for a series is four to eight weeks. Anything longer than eight weeks causes your congregation to lose interest. They begin to wonder if you know about anything else.

So if you’re not preaching in series, start now. It’ll build momentum, create its own advertising and save you a time.

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Rick Warren About Rick Warren

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

  • Mervyn Gabarura

    Mervyn G
    I just love a this great resource. God I thank you for this site, see them through and through

  • Donald D

    I love it, it’s powerful. I believe the Holy Spirit is leading him.

  • Fresh66

    I do believe that one off Holy Spirit inspired sermons can accomplish much, however if led by the Holy Spirit your aim is to see a culture change in your church, a good series will definitely accomplish a great deal.

  • Joe

    I think God’s Spirit may lead a preacher to explore the depths of truth to lengths that may not allow sufficient coverage in one church service.

  • Marty Connolly

    Preaching in a series or not in a series should be up to the spirit who guides us. Advertising is done by the Lord and Pastor Rick Warren is a very blessed Pastor. So I say let God guide you.

  • J Kase

    I disagree. If the series is not done well or on a topic of irrelevance, then I stay home for the whole series.

    • prairiemadness

      Suggest you re-examine the reason you go to church at all if you are not going to worship God, and think whether or not God has a word for you depends on the preacher or the sermon topic.

  • Pingback: Why do we preach in a series? « Stour Valley Vineyard

  • http://www.transitionministriesgroup.com/ Bud Brown

    It also has the added advantage – if you do book expositions – of leveraging the form in which the scriptures were delivered to us!

  • Timothy Burkett

    Great article. Saw that image from Creationswap http://www.creationswap.com/media/4372.

  • http://tomjamieson.com/ Tom Jamieson

    I agree with all three points listed, as I also preach in a series. However, I partially disagree with you on the length. I would say if you are preaching topically that maybe 4-8 weeks is sufficient, but I normally preach through one book at a time, which can take substantially longer than 4-8 weeks. In these cases, I have not found them to lose any momentum or interest. Great post – thanks for sharing!

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