So, what are you preaching on next?
This feels like the time of year when churches run out of creative energy.
So much has been poured into the fall ministry season and then into Christmas services.
There’s not much left in the tank! Can we just coast until Easter?
But, the pressure is on.
You have to deliver compelling sermons in January, February and March!
I’m going to share some of the books that I’ve read over the last year or so that have helped shaped our preaching.
And, whether you have your sermons planned through 2030 or have no idea what you’re going to preach on in January, hopefully there will be something here that might spark an idea.
Recently we did a series on Ecclesiastes that I loved.
This book was a huge resource. On a personal level, I loved reading it.
You might think that a book on Ecclesiastes would be dark, dry and somewhat inaccessible.
Actually, this book is very readable.
I’d even consider it as a companion book to a preaching series.
If my memory is accurate, we did a series last summer called "Dinner with Jesus" and I used this book as a resource as we prepared for that series.
Where I live in Michigan, the summer months can be a difficult time to gain traction with a preaching series because everyone is at their cottage “up north.”
Our attendance typically drops dramatically during the summer.
Maybe you experience something similar in your part of the world.
What was interesting about the "Dinner with Jesus" series is that even though it took place in the summer, we experienced very strong engagement and people raved about the series.
For me, this book was helpful in shaping the sermons.
Speaking of preaching series on Jesus, this book is phenomenal.
I’ve used it as a resource in so many of my sermons.
I love Tim Keller’s approach: thoroughly biblical, very relational and deeply philosophical.
I’m a huge fan.
Another book by Keller that has shaped how I talk about idols, idolatry and identity:
When it comes to Keller, I read just about anything he writes.
I think his biblical accuracy, tone and accessibility is what we need in preaching today.
If there is one sermon that has impacted our people more than any other, it comes from The Land Between.
Just to be clear, I’m shamelessly plugging one of the books written by our senior pastor.
Maybe it won’t connect as well in your church but for us, this is one of the central themes of our preaching.
The message of this book connects because almost everyone feels stuck, confused or disappointed in some way.
Offering your people hope and direction in the disappointment can be huge.
One more recommendation.
This book explores the historical validity of Jesus and could be an excellent resource for a preaching series about the doubts people experience around the person of Jesus.
We used this book as part of a series a year ago and it connected well.
By the way, I like sharing.
If you ever want to borrow ideas from sermons I’ve preached, you can find them all here.
Show the video, borrow the content...whatever is helpful.
I hope you pick up one or more of the books I have shared and they spark an idea.
If you have a resource that you’ve used recently that helped you or connected deeply with your church, we’d love to hear from you.
Share in the comments below. Let’s help each other out!