Sermon Series: The Best Method?

I was having a conversation with a good friend this morning, and the topic of sermon methods came up.  We shared the view that a series is a much better method than just picking various topics week by week.  It got me to thinking and wondering what others had to say on the topic.

I surrendered to the Gospel ministry in the summer of 1996.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was at our church's youth summer camp and God spoke to my heart saying, "I want you to preach and teach My word."  I had no clue as to what all that would call for.  As I started out with those first couple of "sermons" to our youth group, they were more topic by topic.  As I moved on into more continuous preaching/teaching roles, I found myself moving more towards a series approach.

For the past 13 years, I have found myself primarily doing series of messages at a time.  I see a couple of good reasons for that and would like to share.

  • It helps me to be better prepared.  I find that when I'm preaching through a series, I am more prepared for my messages.  Typically, I will be studying on a particular subject more in depth and finding more opportunities for illustrations.

  • It helps build momentum for the vision.  Vision is important in the life of a church.  It is the direction that God intends it to go.  To see that vision accomplished takes great momentum.  Preaching through a series at a time helps to build that momentum.

  • It helps the congregation.  It is always neat to hear from visitors that they were invited by a friend because we were talking about something they have been wondering or going through.  When you preach through a series, the congregation has an idea of what is coming up.  If it is good and relevant to their friends' situations, it provides an opportunity for them to reach out.

Well, I have shared my thoughts on this subject.  I wonder, what do you think?  How have sermon series helped you or not?  I would love to hear some of your thoughts and experiences.