One thing that continues to be tough in youth ministry, is when we get in the sermon writing slump. If you are in youth ministry or a general church leader who has spoken before, you know what I am talking about. Wednesday afternoon comes and you have no idea how you are going to have a sermon written by the time kids show up. This is difficult, but it happens. If this is you, I want to go further and help you with developing a series versus lesson-by-lesson teaching, so that you can have more time for ministry and avoid writers block.
Pick a series Topic
The first thing you need to decide is what your topic is going to be. There is an abundance in the Bible that allows you to develop many different series. In this, though, you want to make sure you are praying to God for what He wants you to teach from. This may a be a book series by a Christian author, or from a book in the Bible. Maybe, you feel led to teach on the Book of Philippians. Whatever it is, pick a topic that is God inspired.
Pick your scope/scripture
In a series, you also want to know how long of a series you are doing. It may be difficult to do an 8-week series on the Book of Philemon. You may also find that 4 weeks is not sufficient on the topic of Identity. The first question in this is, how long does the series need to be? The second question you need to answer is, what scriptures are going to be used? Now, if you’re teaching from one of the Books of the Bible, you may see this as easy, but I think it is difficult. If you are doing a 6-week sermon series on Genesis, then you have a lot of chapters and verses to choose from to try and sum it up. With a topical study, you need to make sure that the scriptures you are choosing are effective and inspired by God to reach your students and people. If not, then you may have Scripture that does not resonate well with your audience, or make a point that does not line up with the Scripture you have read.
Outline each week
This is something that will keep you from writers block. When I write my sermon series, I create a document that outlines each week. I read the Scripture chosen for the week, then, I write out 2-4 points that I see as application points. Lastly, I write out at least 3 sub-points for each of the main points. The sub-points are key to helping me avoid the writers block. I can see that in this point I am going to tell a story on failing, then transition that to how it relates that I am always sinner, but God’s love wins. The more you have on your outline, then the easier it will be to write your sermons. You may ask, “What happens when we can’t decide on sub-points?” There are many tools you can use to help aid you in your outline. You can tell a personal story, make up a story, tell a parable, metaphor, do an illustration, and the list goes on. All are things that can ultimately take the place of a sub-point. The other tool that is great with this is the internet. There are so many resources to use to find stories, illustrations and meanings. Use them often, because they make life easier.
Writing series are fun and amazing. You get to see an idea from God come to life. A sermon series helps you a lot to avoid a writers block, and also to help you save time because it gives you more time to focus on other ministries, instead of researching for another lesson the day of that we haven’t yet previously outlined. I hope this is a resource that aids you in the realm of writing and developing series that change lives!