Why Series Teaching Is Effective
In recent years, sermon series have become the standard method of preparation and teaching for many North American pastors. This style of teaching—several messages over 3-6 weeks on a common topic, theme or Bible book—has both cultural and practical foundations. Much of the content on Pastors Edge is offered in series format. Here are a few of the reasons why series teaching is effective.
Culture. Culturally, the fast-paced life and media-saturated environment of North America makes series teaching a sensible way to promote sermons, capture attention, add to retention and create a sense of theme or purpose. With the busy-ness of life, today we often think of “regular attenders” as churchgoers who attend at least twice a month—but they’re still missing half of the teaching! The short month-long teaching series works well in our haphazard North American culture.
Continuity. Series teaching brings continuity to those who don’t attend each and every week. Further, it gives them a reason to avoid a weekend absence—they’ll miss a key section of the current series. Studies have shown that series teaching has some positive impact on member attendance in churches. Familiarity with the subject matter ahead of time gives the congregation a level of comfort and openness in preparing to hear God’s Word.
Compelling. Theme-based teaching can be creative and compelling by tackling an intriguing topic, capitalizing on a current issue or walking through a section of the Bible in a systematic and artful way. Congregations look forward to a series in a way that is different than just knowing the Pastor will be preaching from somewhere in the Bible.
Course. Series teaching allows the Pastor to a course for the church through his teaching. If God is calling him to move the church in a certain direction, the various series can addresses specific teaching needs. Moving a staff-driven church to a servant-driven church, for instance, may call for a series on serving Christ. Or moving a church to more missional involvement may call for a series on sharing your faith, or going to the nations.
Connection. Finally, series teaching can help the Pastor connect on key issues that affect the congregation. Unlike a standalone message, a series helps the teacher look at more than one aspect of an issue, exploring it in depth over a period of several weeks or longer. This can be of tremendous value to the congregation, members of which may be grappling with the topic in their own lives. Series teaching helps them process their own response to God’s Word over time.
Author: Eugene Mason, Communications Director for Cross Pointe Church under the leadership of Dr. James Merritt.