Month: September 2023

6 Unique Christmas Sermons 2023

4 Ways to Create Sermon Graphics

6 Unique Christmas Sermons 2023

No season in the church calendar excites Christians as much as Christmas does. The question for pastors is this—how do you share the Christmas message to your church in a unique manner?

No season in the church calendar excites Christians as much as Christmas does.

The question for pastors is this—how do you share the Christmas message to your church in a unique manner?

For inspiration, we’ve got you covered. This article has tips, topics, and themes that can help you create and deliver not just a unique, but a compelling, Christmas sermon.

Here are six unique sermons you can use as inspiration this Christmas.

Christmas Sermons on God’s Love

Christmas Day is an excellent opportunity to talk about God’s love in your sermon. You can take inspiration from our list of Inspirational Christmas Quotes & Christmas Bible Verses.

From there, you can move forward with these creative ideas for your Christmas sermon:

1. The God of Small Things

Guiding Verse:

“This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

-Luke 2:6

Main Idea:

The very first Christmas focused on the little things in contrast to the grandness of today’s Christmas. God did not arrive in this world with all fanfare and glory. Instead, He came in the smallest of all human beings—a baby.

Not to forget other “small” details in the Christmas narrative like:

  • The little town of Bethlehem (Matthew 2:6)
  • The tiny stable where Christ was born (Luke 2:4-7)
  • The small group of shepherds as witnesses (Luke 2:8-11)
  • The small but significant gifts of the Magi (Matthew 2:9-12)

It’s noticeable that these small symbols played massive roles in the history of humanity. As the adage goes, great things can come from the smallest packages.

Similarly, God’s love comes to us in the smallest of things.

If you’re looking for the grandest Christmas message, you need not look further than the tiny but noticeable details God has placed into the story of our Savior’s birth.

2. Christmas: A Fulfillment of the Often-Forgotten Promise

Guiding Verse:

Thus, there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.”

-Matthew 1:17

Main Idea:

Many people–even Christians–may see Christmas as an isolated story in the Bible. In other words, they may have disregarded everything God’s chosen people went through before the Messiah’s birth.

In this sermon, you’ll emphasize that God’s plan for salvation began even before the birth of Jesus. Even if it took many generations and prophecies, God fulfilled His plan for His people–and all people–in the person of Jesus Christ.

Sometimes, you may feel that nothing goes according to plan in your life. Remember that Christmas Day is a living reminder every year that God will always fulfill His plans and promises for you.

Christmas Sermons from the Characters’ Narratives

The Christmas story centers around Jesus. However, there are notable Biblical characters who made Christmas possible. You can capitalize on their accounts and use such lessons for a unique Christmas sermon.

3. Would There Be Christmas if Joseph Ran Away?

Guiding Verse:

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”

-Matthew 1: 20

Main Idea:

What if Joseph did not believe and follow the angel’s message? The most logical consequence would be that God’s plans may have been entirely altered.

But what if you were in Joseph’s position? Would it have been that easy to obey what God asked of him?

The Bible doesn’t offer many details and dialogue about Joseph. However, the cultural perception surrounding Mary’s pregnancy might have caused any man to “quietly divorce” (Matt. 1:19)  her and walk away. Nevertheless, Joseph heeded God’s call and remained by Mary’s side.

In life, the most difficult situations can make Christians abandon their faith in God. Seeing Christmas from the eyes of Joseph allows us to realize that the only way forward is to move toward God’s plan.

4. Girl Interrupted: Mary’s Unexpected Role

Guiding Verse:

“But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”

-Luke 1: 30-32 & 38

Main Idea:

Mary, who was the mother of Jesus, is one of the most significant women in the Bible (for some, she is the most significant!)

However, that role is not according to her plan. That’s why she was troubled at first upon receiving the angel Gabriel’s message. She was just a teenager. Being a mother alone was terrifying–not to mention, becoming pregnant out of wedlock. Even more challenging is that she would have to raise the Son of God.

Mary’s cooperation is crucial. Without her “yes” during an unexpected encounter with God, it would be unimaginable to think how Christmas would have turned out.

Now, how does Mary’s story exactly fit into your Christmas sermon?

It’s pretty straightforward—we have to say “yes” every time the Lord calls us to be part of His divine plan. The Christmas season is a chance to cooperate with God’s plan, even in the most unexpected circumstances.

5. Christmas According to the Gospel of the Shepherds

Guiding Verse:

“When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.”

-Luke 2:17-18

Main Idea:

Why did the angels first appear to the shepherds and not people of important dignitaries during the first Christmas?

People did not place shepherds in high esteem, who were not generally occupied with religious practices. However, God has more important messages than the shepherds’ appearance suggests.

Seen from the eyes of the shepherds, Christmas presents insights that you might have never thought of or forgotten, like:

  • Christmas is for everyone, not just for Christians.
  • Shepherds give attention to their lambs. The first Christmas allowed them to behold the Lamb of God, who was to be sacrificed for the sake of humanity.
  • With purity in their hearts, the shepherds sincerely shared the message about the birth of Christ. Similarly, Christians can follow the examples of the shepherds.

Christmas Sermons in a Time of Crisis

If you want to entice more people to listen to your Christmas sermon, you may want to stir some curiosity with unique and thought provoking titles. Here are a few  ideas.

6. The First Christmas: A Dark and Scandalous Night

If you think about it, the very first Christmas falls way short of how people portray the events in Christmas hymns and other media. The truth is the first Christmas is dark because of the many scandals in this narrative:

  • Mary was a young teenager and a virgin. Yet, soon after hearing the angel’s message, Mary conceived Jesus through supernatural means. In the Jewish context, that was alarming!
  • Upon learning of Mary’s situation, Joseph initially planned to divorce Mary. That could have created disgrace both for Joseph and Mary.
  • Even more shocking is that God would take on the form of a man–even an infant. Furthermore, God was born in a stable and laid in a manger–both intended for animals.

Despite these scandalous details, this was how God chose to become incarnate to humanity.

“In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

-John 1:4-5

The birth of Jesus Christ gives hope to everyone. Regardless of the scandals and darkness you experience, remember Christmas Day and how God gave light to the darkest parts of your life.

Put Christ in Your Christmas Sermons!

Above all, strive not only to create and deliver a unique Christmas 2023 sermon. Your Christmas message must always lead God’s people to the reason for this season—Jesus Christ.

Tithe.ly offers unique experiences and resources to help your church grow in faith this Christmas season. You can start creating this unique journey by sending us a message today.

Written by Travis Albritton. Travis Albritton has been serving Christians online for more than 5 years, and has been starting and leading ministries in the southeast United States for more than a decade. His popular podcast, The Practical Christian, has been downloaded more than 300,000 times in 160 countries around the world. He’s an Amazon best-selling author, passionate husband and father, and driven disciple on a mission to launch Christians into online ministry.

Article taken from here.

Find more ministry blogs at MinistryJobs.com/blog

Top Worship Songs for Christmas 2023

What Do I Need To Know About In-Ear Monitors?

Top Worship Songs for Christmas 2023

 

Ideas for your setlist leading up to Christmas and unique arrangements of classics for your special services.

The Christmas season is a special time meant to focus on the joy, peace, and hope found in Christ. We celebrate by singing beautiful classics and mixing in new worshipful arrangements. Every church is different, and there are many ways you can make this season special.

Here’s a list of some of our favorite songs in each of these categories. There are even more available in our Christmas collection.

New Arrangements for Christmas Classics

Angels We Have Heard On High by Worship Artistry

Angels From The Realm Of Glory by Worship Artistry

Joy To The World by Phil Wickham

Silent Night by Worship Artistry

The First Noel by Worship Artistry

O Little Town Of Bethlehem by Worship Artistry

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus by Meredith Andrews

I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day by Worship Artistry

God Rest Ye Mary Gentleman by Worship Artistry

Hark The Herald Angels Sing by Worship Artistry

Noel by Hillsong Worship

Joyful Joyful by Worship Artistry

What Child Is This by Worship Artistry

Away In A Manger by Worship Artistry

O Come All Ye Faithful / We Adore You by Paul Baloche

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear by Worship Artistry

Go Tell It On The Mountain by Worship Artistry

Silent Night by Chris Tomlin

O Come O Come Emmanuel by Worship Artistry

O Come All Ye Faithful by Worship Artistry

 

Christmas Worship Songs

Emmanuel God With Us by Chris Tomlin

Messiah by Francesca Battistelli

His Name Is Wonderful by Chris Tomlin

Gloria by Chris Tomlin

Hope Has A Name by Passion, Kristian Stanfill

Christmas Day by Chris Tomlin and We The Kingdom

Born Is The King (It’s Christmas Time) by Hillsong Worship

King Of Kings by Hillsong Worship

Adore by Chris Tomlin

Seasons by Hillsong Worship

God With Us by All Sons and Daughters

 

CCLI Top Songs Christmas

Joy To The World (Unspeakable Joy) by Chris Tomlin and We The Kingdom

Noel by Chris Tomlin

He Shall Reign Forevermore by Chris Tomlin

Joy To The World by Hillsong Worship

Hark The Herald Angels Sing / King Of Heaven by Paul Baloche

Light Of The World by Lauren Daigle

Christmas Offering by Paul Baloche

Here Comes Heaven by Elevation Worship

View all these lessons and more on our Christmas collection. If you need more ideas for your setlists this season, view this list from CCLI.

Written by Kristina Kislyanka. Kristina is the Marketing Manager, podcast co-host and sometimes vocalist at Worship Artistry. She is the Worship Pastor at her church in Washington state. She’s passionate about songwriting, producing music, and growing community within the Church. 

Article taken from here.

Find more ministry blogs at MinistryJobs.com/blog

Why Rest Matters for Human Leaders

Humans need rest to be the people God made us to be. So as ministry leaders, why do we justify leaving it out? Learn about rest as part of your wellness, and find out what we’re doing at OC22 to help you rest and reflect.

We have lived through–

A global pandemic, 

Racial tension,

Political division,

Conflicts in foreign countries…

And not only have we lived through these things, but we have also led and served other humans through all these circumstances. 

That’s why now–possibly more than ever before–it is imperative that we as leaders connect to our own humanity and pursue wellness. 

The truth is that, although we know it’s important, church leaders often struggle with this more than anyone. Why is that? It’s because we tend to give ourselves to ministry. We pour our mind, energy, body, and soul into it. Years spent investing and prioritizing ministry to ensure its success, almost always at the expense of our own health.

We work long hours. 

And we prioritize spiritual health over mental or physical health.

We don’t take time to rest. 

Here’s what I know.

If we don’t integrate our emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical health, we are setting ourselves up for failure because the whole ecosystem will suffer. 

Our Health and Wellness Ecosystem

See, we as humans are ecosystems unto ourselves. We don’t simply function inside ecosystems of ministry, church, and work, but we ourselves are ecosystems. If we don’t work to integrate all of who we are and give ourselves the care we deserve, each little corner of our ecosystem will deteriorate. Our output, our upstream, our skills and talents, and our connection to our personal values and vision all suffer as a result.

The problem is that often we don’t know this is what we are doing. Or when we do, we justify it. We use scriptures like Philippians 4:13. We cite how important the mission is and how we should sacrifice.

Many of us say things like, “I am weak, but He is strong.” 

But if we’re honest with ourselves, we can admit that we’re actually a little lifeless and a lot disconnected from what’s happening on the inside. 

And while we’re being honest… that’s not even what those verses mean! Jesus Himself lived completely differently than that. 

Jesus – the example of rest

He lived fully human. 

And He rested.

He showed empathy for others. 

And He connected with humanity at every level.

It only stands to reason that our leadership and ministry actually thrive when we are connected to the experience of being human. When we connect to our own humanity, we develop a deeper appreciation for just how beautiful life is. We enjoy laughing with friends. And we begin to see emotions as assets, not liabilities. We ease into our competencies instead of competing for positions.

Not only do we see  ourselves as humans with value, but we see other people as humans, too. Not ideologies, projects, or enemies. We are better able to connect with and care for the people we serve because we are more connected to ourselves.

And, that may seem counter-intuitive–in fact, sometimes it is. But it is not at cross purposes with our faith. Quite the contrary.

We are made in the image of God, and when we rest and take care of ourselves, we actually create space to become more connected to God.  

That’s why Jesus said to love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. 

Rest and Sabbath is even the first thing in Scripture defined as holy. 

Humanity Needs Rest

God has given us one beautiful life to live. Just like the people we lead and serve are worthy of experiencing rest, compassion, and the hope of Jesus, so are we, as ministry leaders and humans. 

 We are worth paying attention to. 

Us humans are worth rest.

We are worth reconnecting with our own humanity. 

Written by Candi Shelton

Article taken from here.

Encouraging Church Leaders This Pastor Appreciation Month

The Good, the Bad, and the Hilarious Sides of Pastor Appreciation Month

Encouraging Church Leaders This Pastor Appreciation Month

How can you encourage your church leaders during this year’s Pastor Appreciation Month?

After all the changes and unpredictability brought about in 2020, churches were forced to pivot overnight and build completely new ministry strategies  to reach their communities. In the same way, church attendees were compelled to change the way they attend a worship service, engage with other members, and participate in Christian community. However, one thing that does not have to change is the way we show pastors our appreciation for all they do.

October is Pastor Appreciation Month

We are fast approaching October, which happens to be Pastor Appreciation Month. Similar to Clergy Appreciation Day, this celebration was established in 1992 with the mission of uplifting and encouraging pastors, missionaries, members of pastoral ministry, and religious workers. And, in 2020, they could probably use a little more encouragement than normal.

Why It’s Important to Encourage Pastors

At Summit Conference 2019 in Dallas, TX, Carey Nieuwhof polled a live audience of more than 1,300 church leaders. He asked, “Over the past year, how many times have you experienced burnout symptoms?”

A shocking 46% said they’ve experienced burnout once or twice in the past year. Another 38% said regularly (3-6 times) in the past year, and 9% said constantly. That’s 92% of church leaders who have experienced burnout in the past year. And this was last year, before any of us had heard of COVID-19. What would the survey results look like now, if we asked 1,300 church leaders the same question today? I can’t say for sure, but I’m guessing it would be closer to 100%.

Why? Pastors and church leaders went into ministry because of purpose and calling. They want to help people. They want to share the good news, make heaven more crowded, and make the world a better place. But today, the stresses and expectations of the role  mean pastors have far less time to pray and care for the spiritual needs of their congregation. Additionally, as a result of our politically charged and divided culture, pastors often feel pressured to speak about current events and issues dominating the news cycle.

A senior pastor recently said to me, “This is not the job I signed up for. I went into ministry because I wanted to share the same grace and forgiveness I found from God with others. But today, I am forced to talk on things I know very little about.. It’s challenging. For the first time in my 35 years of ministry, I have contemplated resigning more often than ever before.”

So, what can you do? Here are a few little suggestions that can make a big difference in the life of your lead pastor or church leader.

Non-Monetary Ways to Celebrate Pastor Appreciation Month

A handwritten thank you note

Though this may seem insignificant, oftentimes written words can be the most encouraging for a pastor to read. Pastors are continually fighting the mental battle that they are not doing a good job. A handwritten note is something they can continually go back to as a source of strength.

An encouraging text message or video from your smartphone

With the power of a smartphone, you can send encouragement through the click of a button. Craft a heartfelt message and send it via text to your lead pastor, expressing your appreciation for them. Make them laugh, or reflect on easier times, and they’ll remember why they do this for a living.

Or you can flip the video around to selfie mode and film yourself — and your family — saying nice things to your pastor. Because many churches are still not gathering in physical locations, they would love seeing your faces!

A social post

If you don’t have the ability to text them, post a message on social media using their handle. Maybe share your favorite bible verse, or tell them you’re thinking back to one of your favorite sermons. Oftentimes, this will go directly to their phone. And if it’s a public post, it may remind others who see it to do the same!

Monetary Forms of Encouragement

Generous Giving – Make an financial contribution to your church that’s a little more than usual

Churches sometimes offer a giving fund option in the month of October where people can express their generosity directly to that fund. This goes straight to your pastors and will be a great blessing to them heading into the holidays. If your church doesn’t have a Pastor Appreciation Month fund, maybe contact your church’s office and request the option to give directly to your pastor as a “special gift.”

Prepare a gift basket

If a financial contribution is not the route you want to go, preparing a gift basket with snacks and goodies is a great way to create something more personal without breaking the bank and still show your gratitude. You can even include a gift card to their favorite restaurant – a dinner date on you will always be greatly appreciated by your pastor.

Give a Book or Ebook

Along with a note of encouragement, your church leaders may also appreciate a new book or resource to help them plan for the upcoming year. Pushpay offers a ton of ebooks if you’re looking for a free option to send. As more and more people choose to watch a church online before they visit in-person, your church leaders may appreciate our free ebook, Don’t Lose Your Online Guests.

There are so many ways we can come alongside our church leaders to let them know we see them, we hear them, and we appreciate them. Remember, a simple word of encouragement goes a long way, especially during this unprecedented time.

The pastor or the church leader isn’t the only person maintaining the church. There are other members of church staff that need appreciation. The good thing is these suggestions will also help them feel more appreciated.

Tools to Help Pastors

Pastors often have a lot on their plate, especially in today’s world where more and more churches are trying to provide both an in-person and online experience for their people. How can your church engage with everyone and keep people from slipping through the cracks?

To help your church accomplish its mission, your pastors need robust but easy-to-use tools that will enable them to do their best work, whether in person or online. Here at Pushpay, we offer various tools that help churches encourage giving, nurture community, and share their message. 

Some of these tools include: 

  • Church Management Software to help church leaders know, grow, and keep their people.
  • Church Giving Tools that drive recurring giving and make administration simple. 
  • Donor Development tools that make it easy to connect with every member of the congregation
  • A Church App that allows church leaders to connect with their community any day of the week. 
  • We’d love to partner with your church family this Pastor Appreciation Month to help take a load off the shoulders of your church leaders. Schedule a demo to learn more about how our tools can help your church family.

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