Most people are still only thinking about Christmas, but we know you’re trying to get ready for the new year because you want to make that smooth transition from Christmas into January. So, today, we’re going to be walking you through 6 sermon series ideas for 2021! Plus, we have a special series we want to give you for free- it’s the Win the Day series, based on Mark Batterson’s new book. It releases on December 29th, and you can sign up for the waitlist here.
Speaking of free resources, if you haven’t already joined our Pastor’s Circle Facebook Group, we would love to have you! It’s a place to come together, be encouraged, and share what’s worked at your church… With over 1500 members already, this is the place for good conversations about leading a church. All we ask is that you refrain from theological debates.
After you’ve watched or listened to this episode, you might want to go back through our episode about creating a vision for 2021. While knowing your overall direction for the year is helpful, it’s not a necessary prerequisite for this episode! So, without further to do, let’s talk about six sermon series you can use to start 2021 off with momentum.
Our first idea? Preach a series on Mark Batterson’s new book, Win the Day: 7 Habits to Help you Stress Less and Accomplish More. Now, this book isn’t out yet- it releases December 29, and the free sermon 7-week series releases the same day. You can sign up for the waitlist here.
Seven weeks may seem like a long period for a new series, but if you’re working through habit formation, longer is better. Every week, you’ll cover a different habit or change your congregation can make in their life. Here’s why we love it: It’s Biblically centered. In the church, we talk a lot about how God’s grace transforms our life- and that’s not about anything that we do. But once we’ve received His grace, then starts the process of sanctification, where the Holy Spirit works in conjunction with us as we begin to live out our faith. This series is about making the most of every opportunity to give God glory: starting your day right, resisting temptation, eliminating old behaviors, and allowing God to write a new story.
Here’s one thing that’s really going to make a difference. He asks this question: Can you do it for a day? Often, we look at habits like running a marathon or resisting a particular temptation or reading the entire Bible, and it seems like a lot. But can you do it for one day?
Here’s a link to jump on the waiting list for this series.
Our next series idea is in a similar vein to Win the Day because it’s all about making life-giving changes with the help of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, we may think, “Sure, I can do that for one day… But it doesn’t have to be today. It can be tomorrow.” I’ll Do It Tomorrow talks about resisting temptation and following principles in God’s Word to bring God glory, and really fighting against the urge to put it off.
I’ll Do It Tomorrow is also the first series in our Topical Calendar, which you can check out here.
If we had to describe the design direction for the Spiritual Habits series, it would be this:
All in all, Spiritual habits are a great focus for your congregation for four weeks. It covers foundational spiritual disciplines of reading the Bible, praying, fasting, and community… Practices that all believers need to participate in.
If you want to make this series more meaningful, work to develop a plan to keep these practices going all year long with your people. You can talk about the topic and then say, “Here’s how we’re going to practice this for the next year.” For example, with Bible reading, you could say, “We’re going to be sending out a devotional every week via email.” or with prayer, “We’re going to have a prayer service every other Tuesday night.” This series is a great opportunity to really set the pace for helping your people build these spiritual habits with this sermon series.
Most New Year’s sermon series are about making changes. For some people, the change they need to make is that they need to rest. When we look at the person of Jesus, we see a great example of this. Jesus recharged. He rested. He took time to pray and to spend time with His disciples. We need to redeem our rest.
Of course, different people have different areas of weakness, and some people do struggle with laziness. As you preach through this series, you’ll have to be cognizant of that. Most people today, however, seem to struggle to settle down and truly rest. That doesn’t mean simply “not working,” but being intentional about our rest, putting the phone down, etc. So this is a sermon series that’s really needed. You can view it here.
New Mercies came out of something we heard Mark Batterson say before he wrote Win the Day. He said that sometimes, it’s daunting to resist temptations or make changes when you feel like you will have to do it every day for the rest of your life. However, God gives us new mercies every single day. We can start each day by saying, “God has given me the mercy and the grace that I need to get through today. I’m not going to worry about the rest of the days this year; I’m going to work on it today.” God’s grace is sufficient for everything we face.
This series is also part of the expository preaching calendar, which you can find here.
We developed this series in partnership with our friends at Dwell, which means it has an amazing interactive element! The Dwell four-week sermon series talks about the importance of studying the Bible, memorizing the Bible, and hiding God’s word in your heart. We’ve also created a 20-day playlist of Scripture using the Dwell app. As you go through your sermon series, your people can listen to the playlist 5 days a week for the next month. It’s only a couple of minutes each day, but it walks them through passages of the Bible that are about studying God’s Word and the good it does in our lives.
Here’s how you work this series- you go through the Dwell sermon series, you sign up for the 30-day free trial of Dwell as a church, and you can give it to everyone in your church for free while you’re preaching through this series. As you do, you’re forming a habit of letting God’s Word sink into your lives. Your people will be learning and listening to the Bible more because of this- and that’s one change you can help them make in 2021 that will have a lasting impact!
Whatever message series you choose, make sure you choose a series now so that you’re not rushing around during Christmas. All of these sermon series are available when you sign up for Ministry Pass! However, the Win the Day series from Mark Batterson is totally free. If you sign up here, you’ll receive the series in your email on December 29th.