People get ready, summer’s coming

Michael Kellahan

What should you preach over Summer? Every year I struggle with this.

January is such a strange time to plan for. Many of our regulars will be away on family holidays. So many things shut down and the city has a completely different rhythm. Throw in New Years, the Cricket, the Festival, and Australia Day & it can be one long laid back party. We don’t want to waste a month but we’d never dream of launching the year’s programs till February.

It’s also conference time in Katoomba with CMS Summer School starting a month long chain of bible teaching mountaintop conference experience.

It is also the big month for moving. Expect to see the moving vans doing long shifts as people relocate. Not just families either - think of the numbers that come each January to study in Sydney.

We often find that January is our biggest month for people new to the area checking out church. It can be hard for them to get a fair idea of what church is normally like with the kids program running on a scaled back holiday program and many away.

So what to preach? Series that demand a lot of work from hearers and need them to be there each week to really get the context just won’t connect.  It is possible to piggy back off New Year’s commitments - we gave people resources last year to do bible reading through the year that were well received.

But I’ve never really cracked this one. I sympathise with the TV programers who throw their hands up over the summer period & recycle old stuff because they know it’s non-ratings time.

The two best series we’ve done in recent years were shamelessly stolen from others - one on ancient heresies and the modern world, and another on the four ‘let us’ phrases in Hebrews 10:19ff.

What about you? What’s worked for January preaching and what principles do you think should guide it?