3 ideas for planning your autumn Bible teaching series
September is the new January. With the start of a new academic year, churches are often up for a new teaching series. In churches I have been part of the autumn is often one of the most consistent times for church attendance so making sure you have a real humdinger of teaching series can really get your year off to a good start. Many of us know the benefits of putting together as much as we can before the Summer so we are ready to hit the ground running in September.
1. Preach on a whole new book of the Bible
There is something satisfying and motivating about looking at a whole book of the Bible in consecutive weeks. Preaching through books of course helps us to make sure we are teaching the whole counsel of God and not just speaking on our hobby horse topics. We can visibly demonstrate that the Bible is setting our teaching agenda. Of course its no guarantee – it is possible to weave your hobby horse topic into any passage – but I you are serious about letting the text set the agenda for your preaching then systematic teaching through books of the Bible is a great way to do it. I have been encouraged when our congregation has looked at a book of the Bible that is new to the congregation- I preached through Zechariah over 6 weeks once and we all enjoyed wrestling with arresting imagery – trying to hear God’s voice to us. Why not have a go this Autumn at a book of the Bible that is new to you as a preacher. This autumn why not consider preaching on:
Jonah and the Worm
- When we run God chases us : Jonah 1
- When we pray God hears us: Jonah 2
- When we repent God uses us: Jonah 3
- When we sulk God challenges us: Jonah 4
Commentaries you might enjoy:
– here’s a 6 week series we did in our church earlier this year in a tag team format.
1. “Does God really love us?” Wrestling with disillusionment Malachi 1:1 – 1:5
2. “Is it really worth it? Wrestling with shallowness Malachi 1:6 – 2:9
3. “Shall we stick with this?” Wrestling with infidelity – Marriage and Divorce Malachi 2:10 – 16
4. “Shall we stick with this?” Wrestling with infidelity – Injustice Malachi 2:17-3:5
5. “Shall we stick with this?” Wrestling with infidelity – Giving Malachi 3:6-12
6. “Why should we bother” Wrestling with apathy Malachi 3:13 – 4:5
2. Use Expository Apologetics
One of the things we are noticing across the UK is that many Christians are losing confidence that Jesus can actually transform lives and situations. I would recommend using the gospels as a great way to help people encounter the person of Jesus. By teaching the gospels from the gospels you equip Christians and help seekers to gain confidence in the person of Jesus and his power for the whole of life. A mini series in John’s gospel could look like this.
.LIFESWAP: finding the life you always wanted
1. Who do you think you are?
LIFESWAP 1 Earth for Heaven John 11
2. Can I start again?
LIFESWAP 2 New for Old JOHN 3
3. What are you Longing For?
LIFESWAP 3 Thirst for Satisfaction JOHN 4
4. Need a new perspective?
LIFESWAP 4 Darkness for Light JOHN 9
5. Is there more to life than death?
LIFESWAP 5 Death for Life JOHN 11
6. Need a way out?
LIFESWAP 6 Life for Death JOHN 19
7. Is it too late for me?
LIFESWAP 7 Guilt for Forgiveness JOHN 21
These are the chapter headings from my book lifeswap – which uses an expository apologetic method to help explorers see how the gospel answers every longing we have and shows how Jesus offers life transformations to all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds.
3. Get into Genre
We ran an 8 week course in our local church using our book ROUTE66 as a the teaching syllabus. It can be used as a Sunday sermon series, for example if you want a more evangelistic / Christological focus you can teach through the different genres showing how Jesus is the centre of the Bible. Using Route66 in this way has the advantage of being useful for both Christians and non-Christians and there are 8 chapters that make a link between Jesus and the various genres in the book that can help you with specific ideas for preaching. See the leaders guide on the route66 webpage. Would love to get your feedback on how this goes in your local church – drop me a line if you get a chance.
Jesus the centre of the Bible
1. Jesus the Key to the Story (narrative)
2. Jesus the Lawkeeper (law)
3. Jesus the Singing Saviour (poetry)
4. Jesus the Wisdom of God (wisdom literature)
5. Jesus the Promised One (prophetic literature)
6. Jesus the Good News (gospels)
7. Jesus the Cosmic King (epistles)
8. Jesus the Destination (apocalyptic)
The route 66 book gives people a daily inspiration from scripture and also tools them up to understand how each of the biblical genres equips us for discipleship. There are also small group study materials integrates into the book. A full leaders guide with sermon suggestions is available as a free download.
I’d love to hear your ideas for Autumn Bible teaching series, there’s so much good stuff happening in churches it would be great to share our stories. May you enjoy a good Summer break and may God bless your ministry in the Autumn.
For more inspiration why not check out: