Whether we are ready for it or not, summer is coming to a close. I hope you’ve taken advantage of the warmer weather and slower pace of life. Maybe you and your church have had an opportunity to get together and brainstorm what direction your church will be going in the fall and winter months. Well, with the arrival of fall comes the back to school season. We all love this time of year, because it means we can settle back into a steady rhythm and routine of life. Now is the perfect time to highlight the back to school theme in your services. Whether it’s mini movies, countdowns, motion backgrounds or sermon slides, there is sure to be some back to school media that will work wonderfully for your church. One site I want to highlight is Playback Media. Playback Media exists to create visuals for the local church. In addition to the designs I’m featuring below, they can also customize any of these slides with your church name, logo, or more. Here are two of their Back to School collections I think you will love.
This is an exciting, yet nerve-racking, time of year. It’s time for our kids to go back to school and join countless others in learning the basics of math, English, science, and more. Yet, parents (and children) can get nervous because of other things they might learn. It would be nice to shelter our kids forever and never let them experience heartbreak, loss, grief, disappointment, or sadness. But by doing that, aren’t we also keeping them from joys, triumphs, victories, friendships, and ultimately a Godly character? While this season may be difficult for some, let’s take a look at these back to school videos by Freebridge Media for encouragement as we send our children back to school.
As the school year draws near, let’s take a moment to pray and ask God to watch over our children. To protect them, guide them and give them the courage to live out their faith.
As the school year approaches, we need to take a moment to pray for our children. We need to ask God to watch over our children. To lead them, protect them and help them make right choices. We need to ask God to empower them to live out their faith and show them how to be an example of God’s great love.
As our children head back to school, it’s time to take a moment and ask God to protect them, lead them and guide them. It’s time to pray for God to grant our children wisdom, strength and courage as they live out their faith. It’s time to take a moment and ask for His hand on the new school year.
This year, as your children head back to school, stop and take a moment to pray for God’s hand upon them, His strength to carry them and His love to surround them. “A Prayer For Our Children” is a great reminder of the importance of hitting our knees and asking God to walk the halls of our schools.
Hats off to those of you out there who get to spend your time dreaming, planning, mobilizing, and executing a well thought out stage design to use for services. No matter how big your church is, all eyes are directed to the stage, the place where worship teams gather to honor and glorify Jesus through music, and where pastors proclaim God’s glory by expositing the Word. No matter what happens on the stage, you had a hand in helping people be drawn into the presence of God and not be distracted by superfluous items.
I wanted to highlight an article from our friends over at ChurchStageDesignIdeas.com. They recently posted an article of the best stage designs for June 2017. Some of these designs are just amazing. I personally like Burning Boards. Check out their post and let me know what you think.
The Psalms make up a powerful book of the Bible that impacts us all in many ways and on many levels. Why is it that this book tends to draw us deep into places of the heart that can transform how we view situations and our lives?
First and foremost, it is God’s Word. We all know, “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). We also know that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). But what is it about the Psalms that make them unique?
The unique character of the Psalms is that it is an entire book devoted to God as the audience. All of the Psalms are written to God, or about God. Yes, the entire Bible is focused on revealing the glory of God and His Son Jesus. The fact that we are reading a poetical book that drips with God’s glory, His goodness, His faithfulness, and the author’s emotions, however, is unique in how it helps us relate to God.
Finally, the raw and vulnerable emotions the authors display when they speak with God are unparalleled. They hold nothing back; they pull no punches. They empty their hearts before a holy God, trusting that they are safe and welcome to do so. It’s in these moments that I know I can open my heart and pour out my life to God knowing I am welcome.
These points, and many others, make the Psalms stand out to us, drawing us in for times of devotion and study. To help us in this area of utilizing the Psalms for devotions, I wanted to point out the ESV Devotional Psalter, a new product from Crossway.
The ESV Devotional Psalter is a tremendous book that is perfect to use during our times with the Lord. As I share more about this, let me dive a bit into the details of what makes this particular book special.
I love the look of the book. The pages are an off-white, antique color that gives you a sense of the book’s depth and history. The text is written in black in a highly readable font. most The beautiful part of this book, however, is that the title (Psalm 1, Psalm 2, etc.) and the verses are in a burgundy that really makes the text pop.
The content is just right for devotions, as it contains all 150 Psalms with a devotional after each one. It highlights an aspect of the Psalm it corresponds with and helps us to dive a bit deeper into the text.
Truth be told, when I showed my wife, she raved about it and brought it to her women’s ministry to show all of the women. They loved it!
I highly recommend this book and think it is perfect for your devotional times. Honestly, it’s also a great gift for a friend, child, spouse, ministry leader, or a complete stranger. The ESV Devotional Psalter will allow you to dig deep into God’s Word and help you truly encounter God by engaging with the Psalms.
You can find out more information on the ESV Devotional Psalter by going to Crossway.org.
Fourth of July weekend is a great time to bring your church together to celebrate freedom. What’s even better, however, is that you have the opportunity to guide your congregation to seeing this holiday through the eyes of faith. There are certainly a great number of directions you can take as you approach this topic of freedom including:
- Freedom from the power of sin
– Old habits
– Sexual immorality
- Freedom from the penalty of sin
– Jesus’ victory
– Jesus’ sacrifice
- Freedom from the presence of sin
– Heaven / Hell
- What Christ set us free for
– For freedom
– Freedom from trying to earn salvation
– Freedom from pleasing people
I wanted to curate a few items for you to help you plan for this service. I’m including a few sermons from our sister site SermonSearch.com that may help give you a direction to take as you prepare your own message. I’m also including some media from WorshipHouse Media to add to your service. You will find a few video illustrations that might help bring a little punch to the point of your message. I’m also including a few background slides you can use to display your sermon notes, announcements, and worship lyrics.
Our Freedom in Christ by Jesse Hendley
This is a great sermon that focuses in on Galatians 4:31-5.1 which says, “So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman. For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” I love the way Jesse focuses in on how vital freedom is to the very core of who God created us to be. This sermon is a great option for you to study.
A Miracle for America by Adrian Rogers
In this sermon, Adrian pulls no punches. He lays out his thoughts, and his insights to being a patriot, and some of the core problems we face in America today. This sermon has a good message to study during your prep work.
A Celebration of Freedom by Roger Thomas
Roger gets straight to the point in this sermon. He asks the poignant question, “What will you do with your freedom?” This is a question all of us must answer, because Christ truly has set us free. This sermon will help you focus your message as you prepare to preach a message on freedom.