Fall is a critical time of year for churches. Everything is getting back on track after the summer slump, and your team is ready to hit the ground running. Your fall kickoff is going to set the tone for the next six months, so it’s essential that you put your best foot forward—and that means choosing the right fall sermon series.
Sure, you could preach another series about King David, but is that going to generate interest, pull everyone together, and set you up for an incredible year? Maybe. If you’re not sure what to preach about this fall, we’ve pulled together five strategic sermon series ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
1. Getting mission-focused
For many in your congregation, fall has a real getting-back-in-the-swing-of-things feel to it. They’re getting their kids back in school and falling into their old routines. It’s the perfect time of year to give a refresher course on who you are and where you’re going as a church. You probably should be hitting this subject matter annually, and this is the perfect time of year.
Potential topics include:
- Why has God placed us in this community?
- What is our mission, and how does it impact you?
- What are our goals for the next year (or five)?
- How can you get involved to help fulfill our vision?
- What is church membership, and why is it important?
2. Christianity 101
If you quizzed your congregation, you might be surprised at the different ideas and opinions held by everyone about critical Christian doctrines. It’s good to circle around periodically and offer a refresher on the basics just to ensure that everyone’s on the same page.
You might want to touch on these fundamentals:
- What does it mean to be “saved”?
- Who was Jesus and why did he have to die?
- Why is the resurrection so important?
- What is the Christian relationship with the Bible?
- What is the role of the Holy Spirit?
- Do I have to believe in the Trinity?
3. The continuing story of Acts
Luke’s second biblical book shares the exciting story of the church’s origins, but the ending of that book isn’t the end of the story. Your church continues the work the disciples started, and congregations must be reminded that they’re still part of God’s exciting story.
Creating a link between critical points in Acts and the work your church does can be vital for energizing and mobilizing your church. Consider things like:
- Pentecost and the Spirit’s role in your church
- How the early church experienced life together (Acts 2:42–47) and how it impacts your vision
- Powerful prayers in Acts (Acts 4:23–31) and the need for churches to stay connected to Christ
- Stephen’s martyrdom (Acts 6) and persecution in the postmodern church
- Paul’s conversion (Acts 9) and how God is transforming lives in your own community
- Peter’s vision (Acts 10) and the inclusive nature of the gospel
4. Finding God in popular culture
Sometimes you want to kick off with a series that has some potential to draw in visitors and generate some discussion in the congregation. One way to do that is pull in elements of the cultural touchpoints they’re already interested in.
This works best with pastoral teams that have a finger on the pop-culture zeitgeist. Not only will they need a working knowledge of popular movies, music, and television shows, but they also need to be able to connect them to biblical themes and ideas.
For this to connect with people, it can’t come across as confrontational. The point isn’t to point out how terrible pop culture is. Anyone can do that. This is about discovering how the culture is using popular media to ask essential questions and reveal genuine concerns and demonstrating how the Christian faith resonates with or informs those areas.
5. The importance of stewardship
As uncomfortable as it may seem, churches need to work hard at overcoming the cultural pull to see our resources as our own to use as we see fit. If you want your congregation to experience a true conversion of the wallet, you’ll need to address money issues consistently.
Fall is the perfect time of year for this. You’re heading into the Christmas giving season, which is a critical time for any organization that relies on charitable giving to meet its goals. You can address these topics:
- How much am I expected to give?
- What does Jesus say about our possessions?
- Why should Christians avoid debt?
- How does this church use funds?
- What is the preferred method of giving?
Hit the ground running
Nothing gets everyone moving in step enthusiastically like a primo sermon series. Your church is ready to get this year started, let’s make sure we’re creating sermon content that’s going to mobilize and encourage them.
As you embrace fall, it’s important to get a headstart on effective engagement tactics to drive participation and giving. Download The Definitive Guide to Successful Church Engagement to discover best practices for nurturing community participation this fall.