Preaching the Church Calendar

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Rob't K. Fall, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. Rob't K. Fall

    Rob't K. Fall
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    Most of us American Baptists are allergic to anything that has more than a few molecules of Romanism. As a result for the most part, the only holy day messages we preach are on Easter\Resurrection Sunday and Christmas. And Christmas day messages are preached only if Christmas happens to fall on a Sunday or Wednesday.

    My point is why should we let the liturgicals have all the fun.</font>
    • Why shouldn't we have a Lord's Supper service on the Wednesday\Thursday before Resurection Sunday? What better time to focus on the commemeration's meaning?</font>
    • Why shouldn't we have a service on "Good" Friday\Thursday? Can you think of a better day to preach on the blood atonement or the substitutionary atonement or any of the other significant doctrines involved with Our Lord's death on the cross?</font>
    • Ascencion Day. Though. this day would be of more interest to the pre-mil\tribs. For us, it is a good day to preach on the Second Coming or Bema Seat.</font>
    • Pentecost: preaching on the Holy Spirit, the church, ect.</font>
    These days are good for taking breaks from that series 101 Messages on 1 John.
     
  2. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    In seminary my preaching professor was asked his opinion on preaching the liturigical calendar. His response: "Get a life!"
     
  3. Rob't K. Fall

    Rob't K. Fall
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    I am not suggesting following the full liturgical calendar. However, there are certain days that are fixed for us in the New Testament.

    This week is a good example. The Russian Evangelical Christian-Baptists I work with have almost five days straight of services. They start on Thursday night with a commemoration of the Lord's Supper. Friday night is the Good Friday service. They won't have services on Saturday. Then they pickup on Easter Sunday services and evening services on Monday and Tuesday nights. Forty days from Sunday, they celebrate Ascension Day. Then ten days later Pentecost.

    I grew up in a UP church so I'm not big on liturgy for liturgy sake. However, these days do provide convenient opportunities to teach and remind our people of basic doctrines. Then it's back to preaching through Romans.
     
  4. dfi

    dfi
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    some good thoughts We just had the Lord's supper last night wednesday of easter week is a good time to focus on the institution and what it means as far as a lot of the full calendar, not sure I could keep it all straight
     
  5. StefanM

    StefanM
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    I'm breaking up a series through James to make room for sermons on Palm Sunday and Easter.
     
  6. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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    I don't think Brother Fall means to preach the "whole thing." I think he means just those Sundays in spring that we can deduce the correct days from the Gospels and Acts. I mean who wants to preach a St. Swithin's Day message?
     
  7. dfi

    dfi
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    I didn't either btw who in the world was st. swithin. Growing up presbeterian I remember the bulletin always refferenced the calendar. didn't get it then and still don't
     
  8. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    As a pastor, I found great joy in using the main elements of the liturgical year, but never used the lectionary or felt constrained to make things fit when I believed my people needed something else. Typically, however, I would use Advent, Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, Epiphany (season), Ascension, Ash Wednesday/Lent/Holy Week, Easter (again, not just one day, but a season), Pentecost, and Thanksgiving/Christ the King. We also created some observances of our own, such as Annual Theme Sunday, Church Anniversary, and Remembrance Day. People came to look forward to these emphases and the possibilities for creativity in designing services around them.
     
  9. MRCoon

    MRCoon
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    The only Church Calendar I know of is the one that the ministry leaders submit so as not to conflict wiht other ministries for the building or church resources....is that the one to preach about? Because I would know nothing about lent (and I would be embarrased talking about my belly button anyways) [​IMG]
     
  10. TomVols

    TomVols
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    I believe there is great value in the Lectionary. I get real nervous by people who condemn it just because it got hijacked by people that we should not emulate. One sermon for Christmas doesn't cut it. One sermon on Palm Sunday (If you're lucky) doesn't cut it. One Easter sermon on the resurrection doesn't cut it. No wonder our people are Biblically illiterate. Stephen Rummage's book Planning Your Preaching is a refreshing book because it's from a conservative viewpoint and sees the value in using the Christian year and/or Lectionary. I find the Lectionary helpful in giving ideas for Scripture readings (yeah, I'm wierd..I think more Scripture should be read in worship than just the preaching text since after all, we're supposed to be a peole of the book). :) The lectionary is a good help. It should not be followed slavishly (although I'd say most pastors have not preached 80% of the texts in it) but it should not be ignored, either.
     
  11. bobbyd

    bobbyd
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    Tom,
    I agree...one week of sermons on Christmas or Easter, or whatever it is doesn't cut it because there IS SO MUCH MORE to them than one sermon will allow.
    I think it is a good idea to begin a Christmas or Easter sermon series 3-4 weeks before the day to allow ample time to get in as much as possible about the events. And i don't think we really have to worry about running out of subject matter when it comes to these topics either.

    As for the rest of the calender, i play it by ear. I tend to preach through 4-8 week series at a time...and if a calender event falls into my Sunday morning teaching times, so be it. If not, i may try to cover it on a Sunday night or Wednesday night.

    One thing i have noticed though, when i truly seek God and let Him guide my preaching and teaching...i don't have a problem with working around a calendar, He tends to work it out for me! :thumbs:
     
  12. blackbird

    blackbird
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    I generally follow a book by book verse by verse series----and when there's a major holiday---like Christmas--Easter---and a few others---I set the book by book series aside and do Christmas series---but I wouldn't bore myself with lithergic messages week end and week out---talk about preaching from the ruts of a Timber Skidder!!!
     
  13. TomVols

    TomVols
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    As prayerfully and carefully as I can, I try to plan my book or theme series (usually I'm preaching through a book) to where they will not be interrupted by an Easter series or Christmas series. It's hard to take a month off from, say, 1 Corinthians and come back and regain your momentum.

    BOBBYD wrote:
    You just reminded me of a common objection I get when I talk of preaching series on Christmas/Advent or Easter. Some preachers talk about preaching the "same thing" every year. First, no preacher seems to care to preach "the same thing" every year when you're just talking about one sermon on Christmas, for example. Second, it's been a whole year - do you think they're going to remember your every word from a year earlier :smilewinkgrin: Most importantly, preach it...it's the Word of God...It doesn't get stale. Its preachers sometimes do, though :tongue3:
     
  14. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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    Doctrinal Messages

    'Side you says you have to preach a "Christmas message at Christmas. :sleep: Brother Fall in his OP suggested using the days as opportunities to preach on doctrines tied into that day. Here are some suggestions off the top of my head:
    1. Palm Sunday- The Kingship and Lordship of Our Savior.
    2. Maundy Thursday\Wednesday- The substitutionary atonement of Christ.
    3. Good Friday\Thursday- The Victory of the Cross
    4. Easter\Resurrection Sunday- The Bodily Resurrection:praise:
    5. Ascension Day- His return, the Great Commission
    6. Pentecost- The church, The Holy Spirit
    We do well to remember God had Israel celebrate various feasts and holy days to remind the nation of certain doctrinal truths.

     
  15. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    Pentecost is this coming Sunday (June 4). I have always loved doing Pentecost ... not that one needs an "excuse" to focus on the Holy Spirit! But Pentecost is an opportunity to think about the relationship between the Spirit and the Church. Classically it has been a time for baptisms, and I always "saved up" the professions of faith that had occurred since Easter for baptism on Pentecost. I also would invite everyone to wear red clothing, as a symbol of the fire of the Spirit, and of course the church liturgical color changes from white to red as well. The congregation was spectacular ... blinding even!
     
  16. TomVols

    TomVols
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    Squire wrote:
    You gave some great suggestions. I'd also like to add that we don't have to have a purely "doctrinal" sermon to teach doctrine in our exposition/application. Too often we take "doctrinal" sermons and categorize them differently (either in theory or in practice) as a seperate subset of sermons. This doesn't have to be so. The true expositor will have to touch on doctrinal meat when he preaches a text. If he doesn't, has he really preached the text?

    I, too, prefer Lord's Supper on Good Friday when you can talk of the cross and the substitutionary atonement of Christ, our propitiation.
     

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