You should not be the only one preaching at your church. Here are some of the drawbacks:
- It’s bad for you. You will wear yourself out by preaching every week.
- It’s bad for the people. If you’re the only speaker your people will be robbed of hearing from multiple perspectives.
- It doesn’t allow for contingencies. If you’re the only one speaking you’ll never be able to miss for vacation or being sick.
And here’s some of the benefits of sharing the preaching calendar:
- The quality of your sermons will increase. If someone else preaches the last week of a teaching series that will give you two weeks to prepare for the next series.
- You’ll feel excitement not dread prior to the sermon. If you share the preaching calendar you will stay fresh vs getting worn out, which will affect how you feel leading up to Sunday.
- You will allow others to use their spiritual gift of teaching. It’s not an accident that there are others on your staff or in your church with the gift of teaching. God did that to help you!
- You will be building on proven foundations. Almost all of the pastors of larger churches share the preaching load (i.e. many of them speak 2/3rds of the time (34-35 times a year) and have others preach 1/3rd of the time (17 times a year).
When I was first introduced to the idea of having someone else speak 17x a year I thought “that’s crazy!” Now I think “how wonderful!” If you’re not used to having others speak, ease into it. That’s what I’ve done.
- I didn’t track guest speakers from 2008-2011 but I’m guessing I had them about 3-5x a year.
- I had someone else speak 10x in 2012.
- I had someone else speak 11x in 2013.
- I had someone else speak 13x in 2014.
- I have someone else scheduled to speak 15x in 2015.
Here’s some miscellaneous thoughts on who should and shouldn’t be speaking at your church:
- Show a video message. When we first started New Day I would show a couple video messages throughout the year (i.e. from Craig Groeschel or Andy Stanley or some other really good preacher). For example, both Craig and Andy have done sermon series on the book of Jonah. I would do week one, have one of them do week two, then I would come back and do weeks three and four.
- Make sure it’s good. It’s important that whoever you have speak (someone by video or someone live) that it be good. You don’t want to have poor (or average) guest speakers. If you do, your people won’t come on future weeks that you have guest speakers scheduled. If the guest speakers are good your people won’t mind that it’s not you speaking.
- Beware of stranger danger. Do not schedule anyone to speak that you haven’t heard before (unless someone you deeply trust can vouch for them). The damage could potentially make weeks to mend. It’s not worth the risk.
- Use an insider vs an outsider. That is, use your staff or someone in your congregation with the spiritual gift of teaching. Your people will respond better to someone they know loves and cares about them vs a stranger.