Where do pastors go to find ideas and inspiration for their sermons? It can be hard to always come up with a fresh new topic… and sometimes a little help is needed. This is where Sunday Sermon comes in.
Sunday Sermon originally began as a partnership between LAP/MTC, the Northwest District, and Concordia University, Portland. Over the years this relationship has grown and changed. Rev. Phil Brandt, who authors the website, explained the origin and motivation: “When the Northwest District was formulating the Licensed Deaconate program in the early 2000s, Chris Reinke reached out to me and asked if I would be one of the instructors. I taught several sections of Biblical Interpretation, Christian History, etc. But then we started graduating students and they were regularly preaching. They needed support.”
So, they started a weekly sermon study via GoTo Meeting. Brandt would send out a summary of their notes and discussion after each session, and this grew into a comprehensive commentary on each Sunday of the Church year with sermon starter idea, notes on the Prayer of the Day, Old Testament, Psalm, Epistle, and Gospel. These are all archived and available for free on the website. Sunday Sermon is not a place to get “canned” sermons, but rather equips preachers with useful tools as they bring the good news each week. Today more than 600 are on the distribution list.
“Sunday Sermon does not give you a sermon to preach – you need to preach your own sermon,” Brandt said. “But Sunday Sermon helps you write the best sermon you can write. It also provides help consistently. Sermons are tough in that Sunday comes whether you are ready or not. The weekly pressure to preach is unrelenting. Sometimes life, ministry, or health just make it impossible to do all the preparation which a preacher should do. Sunday Sermon is there to help a preacher walk into the pulpit with something good to say to people, something which is rootedin scripture, Christ’s love for people, and the cross.”As President Linnemann stated: “Sunday Sermon provides a wealth of resources that helps ease the challenge of weekly sermon preparation for both the experienced preacher and one who is new to the task. Dr. Phillip Brandt provides a wide range of literary, historic, and linguistic resources that help stimulate creativity and focus the interpretation of the text. The Northwest District is proud of sponsoring this resource and thankful to Dr. Brandt for his faithfulness to the task.”
During the very busy Advent and Christmas season, the pressure on pastors can be even greater. Thankfully Sunday Sermon offers essays, sermon ideas, and seasonal helps to assist with this. “The beautiful dance of Advent and Christmas are easy to lose sight of when we are deep into one week after another,” Brandt said. “It is good to take a step back and admire the larger panorama. Advent puts us in mind of our great need for a Savior and Christmas delivers God’s blessing to that need. Advent speaks in the future tense about Jesus. Christmas speaks in the present tense about Jesus. We wait and expect in Advent. We rejoice and we celebrate in Christmas.”A testimonial on the website also attests to the value of this resource to those besides pastors: “
Sunday Sermon notes are extremely helpful to many, not just proclaimers. I’ve shared them weekly with Elders of the small church I’m privileged to serve and suggest they be used as devotional thoughts during the week”(Rev. Lloyd Willweber in Kailua, Hawaii). Paid subscriptions offer access to new content that is continually being developed, but plenty of free resources are available on the website. Go here for more info.
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