Five Sermon Series Ideas for Revitalizing Churches

The Church Revitalization Podcast – Episode 180

A common question that we as Malphurs Group Guides get from pastors that we work with is “Do you have any suggestions for sermon topics that will help with revitalization?” Generally, the answer is to preach through the primary topics of a healthy church: Great Commission mandate, building up mature disciples, and having a compelling future-focused vision. For this week’s episode of the Church Revitalization Podcast, though, we’ve zoomed out to some broader themes and given you five sermon series outlines to take your congregation deeper into the truths of Scripture. Each of the series will provide more of the “why” behind necessary revitalization work, and illustrate great parallel examples from God’s Word that your congregation will surely identify with.

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Series #1: “Restorer of Broken Walls” (based on the book of Nehemiah)

The “Restorer of Broken Walls” sermon series is based on the book of Nehemiah and focuses on the process of rebuilding and revitalizing the church. The series begins with an honest assessment of the current state of the church, and moves into the necessity of making plans to get the work done. God demonstrates strategy throughout scripture, so it’s good for the church to plan for success as well. Opposition to plans is a given for every church seeking revitalization, so it’s good to spend time considering this too. The last two weeks takes you to a return to worship for who God is, what he has done and what he will do, and a celebration of progress made.

Series #2: “The Journey Ahead” (based on the book of Exodus)

“The Journey Ahead” sermon series is based on the book of Exodus and explores the process of church revitalization and growth. The series begins with a focus on discerning God’s call for the church and developing a strategic plan for revitalization that leads to freedom from whatever has had the church bound.. The journey to church health is not fast, but getting started only takes courage. As the inevitable challenges arise, God always makes a way through the toughest of situations, so remembering how God lead Israel is important. Healthy growing churches invest in leaders, so a pause in the desert for  leadership plan is a highlight of this series. Supporting one another and the church as a whole brings this series near the end where the finish is on looking ahead to an exciting future together.

Series #3: “Rebuilding God’s House” (based on the book of Haggai)

Overall, this sermon series would focus on the church’s call to prioritize God’s work, to persevere in the face of challenges and opposition, and to trust in God’s faithfulness and promises as they work towards revitalization. Haggai highlights the presence of God in the work of the church, and calls the church into the partnership work. For the church that has especially felt lost, forgotten, or beaten down, Haggai delivers hope and joy in realigning with God.

Series #4: “Building Up the Body” (based on Ephesians 4)

After one of the series above, a fresh look at Ephesians 4 will help realign the congregation to its role in the church, and the beauty and necessity of unity. Exploring ones gifting by the Holy Spirit is important, so this series provides a great time to engage the congregation in an interactive way. Moving into a deeper look at our sanctification and how powerful the Body of Christ is when each member builds up the others brings into view how great change can be made in the world around us.

Series #5: “To the Ends of the Earth: Becoming an Acts 2 Disciple” (based on Acts 1:8 and Acts 2:41-47)

If you’ve worked with The Malphurs Group through our Strategic Envisioning process, you know the value of Acts chapter 2 and the key role it plays in developing a pathway to mature discipleship. This series would be a great closer to several revitalization series (such as what we’ve outlined here) since it calls everyone into play. The Kingdom of God is not designed for bench-warmers.

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Scott Ball is the Vice President and a Lead Guide with The Malphurs Group. He lives in East Tennessee with his wife and two children. (Email Scott).

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