A shift in communication culture calls for a shift in how we effectively deliver the Gospel.
What We’ve Learned about Sermons, Sermon Series, and Your Preaching Ministry
Preaching during a pandemic wasn’t easy. Volunteers and professionals alike learned all kinds of skills they never thought they needed, from video capture to Facebook Live Streaming.
We also learned some things about our communication culture in the process. The dynamics of attendance and online engagement were already in the works before the first quarantine; COVID simply pushed us over a cliff we had been skirting for years.
As life begins to look a little more normal (at least until the next spike or outbreak), now is a good time to consider what quarantine preaching taught us about sermons, sermon series, and your preaching ministry in a post-COVID culture.
Preaching during COVID was a real challenge. And we can reap some real benefits if we take the time to learn.
This Book will help you…
Try Something New
You’ve already been running preaching experiments during COVID; this is a chance to be more intentional about what you are trying to learn about effectively communicating the Gospel in a changed and changing environment.
Hear from Preachers Like You
The podcasts that accompany the eBook share the perspectives of three pastors in very different stages of their preaching careers. One was just out of Seminary when the pandemic hit; one with decades of experience has led his staff and congregation through the challenges of COVID; and one retired from full-time ministry pre-pandemic and has been actively filling pulpits ever since. No matter where you are in your development as a preacher, you will find sympathetic and encouraging voices.
You are not alone.
Engage Other Leaders
The discussion questions at the end of each section are designed to help you start important conversations with other preachers or with key leaders in your congregation. They offer a safe and intentional way to talk about how sermons work, and don’t work, in our current communication culture. Round up your staff; wrangle your elders; schedule a circuit pastors meeting: find someone to debrief with you, and let’s think about what we have learned and what we can take forward.
Preaching, Post-COVID offers three brief but compelling sections you can easily fit into your busy schedule. Because the content combines theory and practice, you’ll find yourself making almost immediate application along the way.
- Part 1: Multi-Resource Sermons in the Age of COVID helps you think “weekly meal plan” instead of all-or-nothing “Sunday buffet” when it comes to the content of your sermon.
- Part 2: Multi-Faceted Sermon Series in a Post-COVID Culture helps you reimage how you organize and connect a series of sermons over time when regular attendance is scattered.
- Part 3: Directional Preaching Ministry for COVID (and Beyond) is designed to encourage “compass” rather than “canoe” thinking when it comes to leading from the pulpit.
Each section includes questions for further discussion and models the conversation by linking to a podcast with a preacher. Listen to the podcast, walk through the questions with some leaders you trust, and wonder what the Spirit of Jesus is shaping in you and in your congregation.
From individual sermons, to longer sermon series, all the way up to the shape of your preaching ministry: what have you learned during COVID? What do you want to take forward into whatever comes next?
“How do you shape your preaching ministry in a communication culture where everyone constantly bounces from one communication stream to the next?”
“Any given sermon is set free from its fixed location in time and space and turned loose to wander the wilds of YouTube and Google.”
What People are Saying
Are you like me? When you hear other people preach you’re always thinking of how you would have preached this text? When Justin Rossow preaches I never think that because I am caught up in the Word itself. This eBook would be a great discussion item for a circuit pastors meeting, or for your own personal study and growth in this craft of preaching.
Rev. Don Neuendorf
Senior Pastor, St. Paul Lutheran Church
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Engaging in how followers of Jesus process multi-platform content in their walk of discipleship was an intriguing idea before Covid-19 showed up, but has now become a necessary conversation for leaders in the church. Rossow leans into the conversation full tilt by opening up the imagination of pastors to what sermons could look like in this ‘new normal’ age, and then interweaves such imagery into how we connect as a whole church community and shows us that consistency is just as important as creativity.
Rev. Jonathan Brandenburg
Senior Pastor, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
Rancho Cucamonga, California
Justin’s insight and humor help take the pressure off of preaching as he equips you to think differently about the role of the sermon in the life of the Church. This eBook is real help, and real fun!
Rev. Steve Wiechman
Cofounder of Breathe Life Ministries
Whether I’m developing an individual sermon, or working to grow as a preacher, Justin Rossow and Next Step Press are my go-to sources for help and encouragement. I’ve especially benefited from guidance in shaping my preaching with the daily discipleship of my church family in mind. I recommend these resources to anyone tasked with preaching the Gospel.
Rev. Sam Fink
Discipleship Pastor, St. John’s Lutheran Church
Orchard Park, New York
3 Ways to get your copy
1. Preaching Post-COVID is available through Kindle Unlimited or for $6.99 in the Kindle Store at Amazon.com.
2. Through the generous support of Next Step Patrons, you can also receive a PDF copy as a thank you for by signing up for the Next Step Discipling Leader community. You will also receive quarterly ministry ideas by email as well as new release notifications.
3. Because this resource is designed to foster discussion, you can also get permission to distribute a copy (electronically or in print) to members of your staff or to your lay leadership, or for use in a pastor gathering. The layout is already designed to print back to back and three hole punch. To receive permission for your group, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Working alongside Justin Rossow has been an absolute joy. Besides finding a brother who understands the struggle and joys of leadership, clarity, and communication, I have witnessed firsthand the power and efficacy of his preaching. He understands the goal of a sermon, and is willing to invest the energy to make it stick!
Rev. Jeff Meyer
Founder of The Dream Accelerator