I have some preaching friends who can sustain long series of teachings. You know who you are. I love you for it. I just don’t have the attention–squirrel!–span to pull it off. I usually start getting bored with a series by week six. I honestly don’t know if series length matters to listeners, but it matters to me. I’d love to hear the thoughts of some non-preacher geeks on this one.
Nevertheless, let’s have some fun by designing the longest series possible using the Lord’s Prayer as our text. I’ll share how I would preach the first line or two and then I’ll leave it up to the rest of you to keep going. Should you choose to engage this exercise, you could end up winning a gift certificate to Amazon. So keep reading.
Here’s my breakdown:
1. Our: I’d talk about the difference between addressing God as a community and as individuals. Why is it important to pray “Our Father” instead of “My Father”?
2. Father: What does it mean to call God “Father”? How is this helpful? How is it harmful? Why don’t we call God “Mother”?
3. In Heaven: What is heaven? Where is it? What does mean to say that God is in it?
4. Hallowed: Have we lost a sense of what it means to “hallow” the things of God? How do we move from shallowness to hallowness?
5. Be Your Name: What is the name of God? What does it mean to hallow God’s name? Why is it important to mention God’s name in prayer? Or is it?
6. Your Kingdom: What is the Kingdom of God? Where is it? What is it? When is it?
7. Come: Why do we want the Kingdom to come? What would it look like for the Kingdom to come?
8. Your will be done: What is God’s will and are we really prepared to pray for it to be done?
9. On earth as it is in heaven: Unpack the implications of bringing heaven to earth rather than escaping earth and going to heaven.
Ok, I’m tired and beginning to doubt my abilities as a preacher. Your turn.
Here’s the deal: Submit in the comments your breakdown of how you would preach the Lord’s Prayer in the longest series possible. I’ll judge the entries based both on length and on how doable I think your plan is. (Example: If you’re going to preach an entire sermon on the word “in,” give me a few clues as to how you’re going to do it.) The deadline for entry is 3 pm on Feb. 14th. The prize is a $15 gift certificate to Amazon.