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9 Things You Need for Your Father’s Day Sermon

Father’s Day is almost here. Are you ready? Do you have your sermon idea picked out and ready to go? How about some media to go along with your message? It could really help accentuate the main points you are trying to hit.

If you need encouragement for a direction for your sermon outline, or ideas for what to use as a background for worship songs or sermon notes, we have some inspiration for you. I’m including a few sermon ideas from our sister site, SermonSearch.com, that will hopefully encourage you as you craft your own message. I’m also providing sermon slides and video illustrations from WorshipHouseMedia that you are going to love!


SERMONS

How to Be a Fabulous Father by Jim Perdue
This is a great sermon to guide your prep work as it focuses in on a foundational statement we find in many homes today, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

How to Be an Influential Father by Ernest Easley
With Noah as his backdrop, Ernest Easley shares with us a time that he was in desperate need of a godly father to rise up and lead.

Do You Know Who Your Father Is? by James Merritt
This is a tremendous sermon that digs into the doctrine of adoption. There is something so powerful and life-transforming about this doctrine and topic of adoption, especially when it’s preached around Father’s Day. This is a excellent choice to consider as you seek a topic to preach on Father’s Day.


SERMON SLIDES

Happy Father’s Day by Hyper Pixels Media

 

Time with Dad Welcome by Playback Media

Wooden Sky Father’s Day by Centerline New Media

 


VIDEO ILLUSTRATIONS

Father’s Day: Answering the Call by Gateway Church Media

Build a Dad by Freebridge Media

 

Dad Joke Support Group by Igniter Media

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The Least Preached Subject

In a church of 100 people, 20 people will likely experience depression or an anxiety disorder at some stage in their life. If you are in a church of that size, there are probably 5-10 people struggling with depression right now. If you add in the family, friends, and employers of sufferers, something approaching 25% of an average congregation will be impacted to some degree. Depression is the leading cause of disability in the US among people aged 15-44, with suicide being the second leading cause of death in the same age group.

But when was the last time you preached or heard a sermon on depression, or any mental health issue for that matter? Given its prevalence, why is it so rarely even mentioned?

Rare preaching

One reason is that there is so much ignorance and misunderstanding around mental health issues. Many pastors simply do not feel equipped to address the subject. Their seminaries did not train them and they have not pursued further training to help them understand and minister to people with such problems.

Many pastors are also unaware of just how common the problem is. Perhaps fearing a lack of sympathy or understanding, Christians with depression will often seek help from outside the church. The result is that there can be many depressed people in a church but the pastor does not know about it.

Other pastors may have decided that it’s entirely a medical problem and therefore something to be left to the medical profession. For these and other reasons, depression is rarely addressed in sermons and the effect is that depressed people feel isolated and ignored, exacerbating the problem.

Damaging Preaching

 But even worse than neglecting the subject is insensitive preaching that unintentionally makes the suffering even worse. From counseling depressed Christians, I’ve discovered that these types of sermon actually harm more than help:

– Sermons that over-stress the moral evils of the day. They are anxious enough through hearing the daily news without every church service ramping up the “we’re doomed” rhetoric. A steady diet of gloomy sermons, or graphic descriptions of violence, persecution, and other moral evils, is not going to lift up the head or heart of the cast down.

– Sermons that extol constant happiness as the only valid and virtuous Christian experience. The deep pain of depression is multiplied when a depressed person is repeatedly told that all sadness is a sin.

– Sermons that question the faith of anyone who doubts. A lack of assurance is not necessarily a lack of faith. Believers who hang on to God despite feeling no assurance sometimes have the greatest faith.

– Sermons that demand, demand, and demand. The depressed person already feels like an inadequate failure. To be regularly berated for not doing this ministry, or failing to engage in that Christian service, only crushes what’s left of their spirit.

I’m not suggesting that these themes should never be preached but I am calling preachers for greater sensitivity towards the depressed and anxious in their sermons.

Helpful Preaching

 If that’s what harms, what kind of sermons can help depressed people? One of the simplest and best things a preacher can do is preach sermons that at least mention depression, anxiety, and other mental and emotional disorders. Just to have such suffering publicly acknowledged can minister deeply to sufferers. It can help them to come out of the shadows and into the open, to sense that this is a safe place to share, and to believe that it’s okay not to be okay. It can also be helpful for the preacher to mention statistics that show how common the problem is, how this is a normal abnormality in an abnormal world.

The preacher may also demonstrate from the Bible that true believers often suffer with depression (e.g. Elijah, Jeremiah, David, Job). The Psalms are an excellent vehicle for showing believers the dark depths that believers can fall into (e.g. Ps. 88) and also give hope of recovery showing that there is a way out (e.g. Ps. 77). Sermons on Job should not just focus on the passages of triumph but also the passages of despair. Idealism must be tempered with realism. Other examples from throughout church history might also be added. For example, even the great Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon endured long periods of depression.

Sermons should also promote a holistic approach to mental health struggles. It’s very easy for preachers to take a simplistic approach – it’s all physical, or it’s all spiritual, or it’s all cognitive, etc. However, it’s very rarely that simple. There’s usually a complex mix of issues – the physical, the situational, the relational, the financial, the spiritual, the emotional, the mental, etc. This is true not just in terms of tracing causes but also in suggesting cures. One size does not fit all. Those relying on just meds should be encouraged to explore other dimensions of the problem. Same with those who are fixated exclusively on finding a sin to repent of.

Preachers with a tendency to preach on the more subjective side of Christian life should remember that depressed people need to focus most on the objective facts of Christianity, the historic doctrines of the faith. Facts first and feelings follow. There’s a place for careful self-examination, but remember Robert Murray McCheyne’s rule: “For every look inside, take ten looks to Christ.”

And that really brings me to the best way to preach to the depressed, and that’s to preach Christ. Preach his suffering and sympathizing humanity. Preach his gentle and tender dealings with trembling and timid sinners. Preach his gracious and merciful words. Preach his beautiful meekness. Preach his miracles to demonstrate his power to heal. Preach his finished work on Calvary. Preach his offer of rest to the weary. Preach the power of his resurrection-life. Preach his precious promise: “A bruised reed he will not break, and smoking flax he will not quench” (Isa. 42:3)

Preach Christ! Preach him winningly and winsomely. Preach him near and ready to help. Preach him from the heart to the heart. Preach him again, and again, and again. Until the day dawn and the shadows flee away.

 

Bio

Dr. David Murray is a pastor and a professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology. He is the author of a number of books including Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture. He blogs at HeadHeartHand.org and you can follow him on Twitter @davidpmurray.

 

 

 

 

 

Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture is a book for us. We move at a blistering pace day in and day out. We may take a vacation once a year, but is that really what it’s going to take to allow us to sustain a break-neck pace for the rest of our lives? This book confronts us with the sobering fact that if we do not slow down, if we do not reset our focus, then the constant red-lining could turn to engine failure. Check out this book and come back to a sustainable pace of life that God has called us to live.

 

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3 Trending Father’s Day Mini Movies

Being a father, I’ve been thinking about our holiday we have coming up. I’ve considered where it’s placed in the calendar in relation to Mother’s Day. That placement, in June, makes me think that a mother chose the month to celebrate. Do you know why?

Because we’re being tested. If we didn’t do a good job celebrating moms, then look out! Father’s Day might not be what you hoped it would be. But if you wooed and wowed on Mother’s Day, then Father’s Day might just be a great day for you!

All jokes aside, Father’s Day will be here before you know it and I want to make sure you are ready to go with all the media you need to honor the dads in your congregation. In light of our desire to honor dads, here are three of our top trending mini movies for Father’s Day. Let me warn you ahead of time; be prepared to laugh and also well up with enough emotion to possibly cause a tear to drop from your eye. These are some great choices to use in your service on Father’s Day.

Father’s Day: Answering the Call by Gateway Church Media

 

Thanks, Dad! by Creative Sheep

 

Stuff Dads Never Say by Motion Worship

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FREE Church Media to Start the Summer off Right

The summer months are here! Pools are open, lawn mowers are running, and the grills are out! This leads me to a very important question: gas or charcoal? I will not state my opinion or preference in this matter, but the question is crucial. How we answer determines whether our burgers, hotdogs, vegetables, steaks, etc. will be infused with the wonderful complexities that only comes from white hot briquettes, or whether your food will be bland and flavorless. But again, I will take a neutral stance and not state my opinion on the matter here. That leads me to my next point, where I will freely state my opinion: free church media always makes people happy! Test me on this one. Send this article to a few of your church media loving friends and see if it doesn’t make them happy. We all love free church media, and I know you’ll love what we have for you this month.

Follow Us Cinemagraph by Journey Box Media

This cinemagraph encourages your community to follow you on all your social media channels. With your purchase, you will receive versions with and without text. Cinemagraphs bring still images to life, and are an eye-catching way to communicate necessary (but often, boring) information.

Scandal of Grace by Hillsong United

Here’s a crazy creative motion background that’s perfect for any service or event from Sword Point Productions!

Jesus Loves Me (Worship Motions) by God’s Kids Worship

“Mighty Worship Motions” brings you this fun, beat-blast re-do of the classic kids song. These exciting and groove-infused lyrics and worship motions will stick with your kids. The 2-color computer animated silhouette worship leader keeps the focus on the song & the motions, so kids will retain and recall this song everywhere they go. All kids voices, singing in a key that works for kids, at a tempo and length that will keep kids attention.

Fog Rays Blue Fast by Motion Worship

Glowing particles stream from a pink and blue sunburst with light rays shooting through fog. A high-energy background.

Washed Away Motion Background by Playback Media

Colorful blue ink flows over a white background. This is a great trendy background for anytime of year and is part of the Washed Away Collection.

Free Video Clip by Lightstock

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Live Recording

Most church leaders do not realize the importance of live directing. Whether it is for Television or more commonly for live stream services, the professionalism that you show in your directing determines how people experience your services. Whether or not viewers will return to view your services again or even come in person to your church can depend on how well you do your job.

Unfortunately more often than not church directors simply pick shots at random. Live directing does not have exact rules but after many years of experience there are definite do’s and don’ts to follow. If you watch professionally directed televised church services or even secular events you will notice they have certain trends that you can follow. Here are just five do’s and don’ts I would like to share with you.

Number 1

Don’t – Excessive Dissolving

One of the more common visual blunders I see on live stream broadcasts of services, is the overuse of prolonged cross dissolves. This was a trend in the 80’s and has since gone out of style. Also when there is a speaker or preacher, I would not use cross dissolves at all, except perhaps during prayer.

Do – Cross Dissolve

Cross dissolves have their place but usually only on slow tempo songs or prayer services. As a preference, I would usually not use a cross dissolve more than 2 seconds long.

Number 2

Don’t – Random Cutting

I have seen in many services, a director who clicks the shots at random, as long as they are framed and ready to go. After a while it gets difficult for me even to watch the screen because there is no rhythm or purpose to it. During speaking or preaching too many cuts in the middle of sentences or points can be a real distraction.

Do – Rhythm Cutting

When directing music, it is important that your shot cutting is in tempo with the music playing. Your cuts should be on the beat of the music when possible. It is more natural to your viewer’s eyes for the shot to change in beat with the music. When directing the preaching or speaking it is important to cut after complete thoughts are made. As a practice, I kept the sermon outline near me to know where the pastor was on a particular point in the lesson. It is also important to plan audience or crowd shots to show audience response to good points, and also to give your speaker time to find their place in their notes on the podium or even to cover up when they need a drink of water.

Number 3

Don’t – Cutting to Similar Shots

Cutting or dissolving to a shot that is very similar in frame up and distance is just not pleasing to the eye. For example, do not cut from a front bust of a person to an off angle bust of the same person. Also don’t change from the same frame up of one person to another person. This has the appearance on the screen of a person morphing into another person.

Do – Shot Variance

There are some transitions of shots that work better than others. A close up or bust shot transitions wells to a shot that is at more of a distance. A camera pulling out or pushing in transitions well to a static or shoulder camera shot of instruments being played. A camera pulling out, transitions well to a camera pushing in. While most of these are preferences, the point is that variance in your shots is more interesting than 3 cameras all framed up at the same distance.

Number 4

Don’t – Miss the Focus of the Service

I have seen it many times. I am watching a service online and someone begins to sing a solo. I look at the screen and there is only a shot of an electric guitar and he isn’t even playing. This is called missing the focus of your service. The viewer shouldn’t be waiting a long time to know who is singing. Another example is an instrumental is playing and the camera shot is only showing someone on the praise team smiling and clapping.

Do – Keep Focused

If a soloist sings you should already have planned to capture them before they begin. Our worship leader would list all soloists and their mic positions on the printed order of service. When instrumentals begin, show some band shots. If there is an extended period of applause then wide crowd shots and audience member shots should be used. The most important thing you can get across through live directing is making your online or tv audience feel like they are right there with you.

Number 5

Don’t – Technical Unpreparedness

This is a common issue with many churches. Camera 1 has the back focus out of alignment so that every time he pulls out halfway the shot goes out of focus. Camera 2 has his gain setting set a level too high and he’s trying to fix it by lowering his iris setting, but the shot doesn’t match the other cameras. Camera 3 crane jib can’t turn left or right because someone has bumped the gears out of alignment. Camera 4 roamer has a orange screen because of a bad white balance. Camera 5 wide cannot get the zoom controls to work. Camera 6 roamer cannot hear you on comm because his batteries are dead or he is on the wrong channel. If you are not prepared with your equipment before service, you are headed for a train wreck.

Do – Be Prepared

It may seem like overkill but a good director makes sure all cameras are working, white balanced, level, matching in color and brightness, batteries are charged on wireless cameras and comms, back focus is set, all signal paths are received, monitors working, zoom and focus controls are working and crane motors are in working condition.

While this guide does not cover everything there is to know about live directing, hopefully it will help you recognize some of the more common problems helping you become a more efficient live director.

 

Jonathan Litchfield is the Executive Director of LifeScribe Media, which is devoted to enhancing the worship experience through creative church visuals. Check out some of LifeScribe Media’s content.

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