12 Innovative Sermon Series Ideas (Plus…FREE Downloadable Sermon Graphics)

12 Minute Read

In this post I’m going to share with you 12 innovative sermon series ideas.

One sermon series for each month of the year.

You’ll also see how I used these sermon series ideas to create sermon series graphics.

(plus, I’ll even give you the sermon series graphics for free)

It gets better:

All of these sermon series ideas are working GREAT right now (in 2018).

Let’s do this!

Free Bonus: Click here to download The Complete Sermon Series Graphics Bundle – this free bonus includes 24 total graphics – including title graphics AND blank graphics so you can add your own text

How to discover amazing sermon series ideas

Look:

The sermon series ideas I’m about to share with you are probably a bit different than what you’re expecting.

You won’t find any ‘At The Movies’ recommendations on this list.

Why?

Simply stated, I wanted to take a completely different approach with my sermon series recommendations.

So if you’re looking for the same old, same old – you won’t find it here.

The sermon series ideas I’m about to share with you are probably a bit different than what you’re expecting

The sermon series ideas I’m about to share with you are probably a bit different than what you’re expecting

Now, you might be wondering…

What makes this sermon series ideas list special?

Consider this:

Attending church on Sundays used to be a way of life for most Americans. But we’re living through the biggest communication shift in 500 years. Church has become less of a priority – especially for those younger than 40 years of age.

  • Only 2 in 10 Millennials believe church attendance is important.1
  • 59% of Millennials who grew up in the church have dropped out at some point2
  • If present trends continue, the percentage of the population that attends church in 2050 is estimated to be almost half of 1990’s attendance — a drop from 20.4 percent to 11.7 percent3

What does this mean for your church?

Bottom line: Finding the intersection between faith and culture is critical in 2018 and beyond – especially with your church’s sermons.

Finding the intersection between faith and culture is critical in 2018 and beyond – especially with sermons

Here’s the sad truth:

Most people don’t care about church.

Sure…

Some people are angry and bitter towards church. Others are wildly passionate. But for the most part, we’re apathetic.

Unfortunately, this puts your church in a tricky spot. Because it’s very difficult to engage people on a subject they aren’t excited about.

The solution?

Identify the intersections between faith and culture – and use those intersecting ideas as bridges between Jesus and the world.

As it turns out, this is how Jesus often chose to communicate:

  • Jesus uses a mustard seed as a bridge to explain The Kingdom of God
  • Jesus tells the story of a son turning his back on his father as a bridge to explain redemption and forgiveness
  • Jesus talks about a man abandoned on the side of the road as a bridge to explain mercy

Each of the sermon series ideas listed below is a bridge. An intersection between faith and culture. A timely springboard for a timeless message.

Oh…and it’s all backed by a ton of research.

Keep reading.

SIDE NOTE: Each sermon series title on this list is only one word long. Feel free to construct longer, more elaborate titles. As for me, when it comes to existential matters of faith, I’m a reductionist.

No. 1 – Sermon Series Ideas – Bible

Sermon Series Ideas #1: Bible

Sermon Series Ideas #1: Bible

The Research
  • The phrase “bible study how to” receives 538,541 unique monthly searches on YouTube in America – according to KeywordTool.io
  • The phrase “bible study how to” receives 60,500 unique monthly searches on Google in America – according to KeywordTool.io
  • More than half of all American adults (58%) wish they read the Bible more often4
Every month, more than half a million Americans search in YouTube "bible study how to"

Every month, more than half a million Americans search in YouTube “bible study how to”

The Bible is the most widely distributed and best-selling book of all time.

But it can be confounding.

The translations. The language. The history. The context. The contradictions.

Here’s the bottom line:

Every month, more than half a million Americans search for the phrase “bible study how to” on YouTube.

The people in your church are hungry to understand the Bible. Heck, the majority of Americans say they wish they read the Bible more often!

The solution?

Dedicate a sermon series every year to teaching your congregation how to properly study the Bible.

Related Bible Verses:

No. 2 – Sermon Series Ideas – Doubting

Sermon Series Ideas #2: Doubting

Sermon Series Ideas #2: Doubting

The Research
  • 2 out of every 3 Christians admit to experiencing a season of spiritual doubt5
  • More than a quarter of Christ followers still find themselves doubting6
  • The most common response to spiritual doubt? Quit attending church (46%)7

Imagine looking at your church’s entire congregation gathered together in a crowd.

1 out of every 4 people you see is struggling with spiritual doubt – right now.

Doubt is a necessary part of almost every faith journey. But it can be crippling.

Consider that almost half of people (46%) that experience spiritual doubt respond by quitting church altogether.

Our churches need to know that doubt is okay. But we also need a game plan. What do you we do when a crisis of faith hits us?

Related Bible Verses:

No. 3 – Sermon Series Ideas – Pray

Sermon Series Ideas #3: Pray

Sermon Series Ideas #3: Pray

The Research
  • The phrase “how to pray” receives 131,742 unique monthly searches on YouTube in America – according to KeywordTool.io
  • The phrase “how to pray” receives 14,800 unique monthly searches on Google in America – according to KeywordTool.io
  • Popular query variations include “prayer for strength,” “prayer for healing,” and “prayer for children
  • Prayer is the most popular spiritual discipline amongst Christians (Protestant Mainline, Protestant Non-Mainline, and Catholic)8
  • More than half (55%) of Americans say they pray every day9
  • In 2017, nearly three-quarters (74%) of Americans prayed to God at least once per week10
Every month, more than 100,00 Americans search for the phrase “how to pray” in YouTube

Every month, more than 100,00 Americans search for the phrase “how to pray” in YouTube

No doubt about it, prayer is the most popular spiritual discipline.

But how should we pray?

Should we petition God on our behalf? Should we ask God to make us more like Him? Should we simply pray The Lord’s Prayer as Jesus instructed?

Similar to studying the Bible, the people in your church and community are hungry to understand prayer.

Dedicating a yearly sermon series to the practice of prayer is a tremendous way to foster prayerful habits in the people of your church.

Related Bible Verses:

Free Bonus: Click here to download The Complete Sermon Series Graphics Bundle – this free bonus includes 24 total graphics – including title graphics AND blank graphics so you can add your own text

No. 4 – Sermon Series Ideas – Sex

Sermon Series Ideas #4: Sex

Sermon Series Ideas #4: Sex

The Research
A video with close to 2 million views sharing the untold secrets of saving yourself for marriage

A video with close to 2 million views sharing the untold secrets of saving yourself for marriage

Browse the most popular YouTube channels amongst young Christians and you’ll find the most popular videos to consistently broach the topic of sex and relationships

Browse the most popular YouTube channels amongst young Christians and you’ll find the most popular videos to consistently broach the topic of sex and relationships

Consider this:

  1. To quote Barna, there are “massive generational shifts among younger Americans toward a broader move to delay marriage.”13
  2. Christians are taught from a young age that sex is meant to be experienced within the union of marriage

Think about it…

Sex is the ultimate mystery for a younger Christian.

We put sex on a pedestal. We spend a lifetime waiting for it. And then, when it finally happens, we have no idea what to do with it!

What does this mean for your church?

Talk about sex! For real. Dispell the myths. Address the difficult questions.

(especially address the difficult questions)

Because here’s the deal:

95% of Gen Z uses YouTube. And 50% say the can’t live without it.14

If our churches won’t talk about sex, younger Christians will turn elsewhere.

Related Bible Verses:

No. 5 – Sermon Series Ideas – Money

Sermon Series Ideas #5: Money

Sermon Series Ideas #5: Money

The Research
  • The phrase “how to budget” receives 72,102 unique monthly searches on YouTube in America – according to KeywordTool.io
  • The most important financial goal of American Christians is to “provide for my family”15
  • The second most important financial goal of American Christians is to “support the lifestyle I want”16
  • The sixth most important financial goal of American Christians is to “serve God with my money”17
  • According to a poll by the Bank of Montreal, 68% of Canadians surveyed say fighting over money would be their top reason for divorce – ahead of infidelity18

The Bible has a lot to say about money.

About stewardship. Hard work. Generosity. Tithing. Greed. Contentment.

On the other hand, money is a sensitive topic for the two largest living generations: Boomers and Millennials.

Only 25% of Boomers feel confident they have enough money to last through retirement. Even worse? 42% of Boomers have nothing saved for retirement.19

But wait there’s more…

Because young people don’t have it much better.

American student debt has tripled in the last decade. For Millennials, traditional life milestones such as home ownership and marriage don’t feel like a realistic option.20

Student debt has put many Millennials in a hole they feel they can't crawl out of

Student debt has put many Millennials in a hole they feel they can’t crawl out of

A sermon series on money should offer practical steps and hope to those who feel hopeless in their financial situations.

Related Bible Verses:

No. 6 – Sermon Series Ideas – Community

Sermon Series Ideas #6: Community

Sermon Series Ideas #6: Community

The Research
  • Young adults who continue their involvement in a local church beyond their teens years are twice as likely as those who don’t to have a close personal friendship with an older adult in their faith community (59% vs. 31% among church dropouts)21
  • When asked to choose from word pairings to describe their vision of the ideal church, 78% of Millennials chose “community” over “privacy” – and 64% chose “casual” over “dignified22
If you had to choose, what do you think is top priority for young people when they are looking for a church to call home?

If you had to choose, what do you think is top priority for young people when they are looking for a church to call home?

To quote John Pattison, co-author of Slow Church:

“Rather than confining the life of faith to Sunday mornings where it can be kept safe and predictable, or to a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ” that can be managed from the privacy of our own home, ministry should cultivate a deep, holistic discipleship that touches every aspect of our lives.

Following Jesus isn’t a privatized faith, but rather a lifelong apprenticeship undertaken in Christian community.”23

Related Bible Verses:

Free Bonus: Click here to download The Complete Sermon Series Graphics Bundle – this free bonus includes 24 total graphics – including title graphics AND blank graphics so you can add your own text

No. 7 – Sermon Series Ideas – Rules

Sermon Series Ideas #7: Rules

Sermon Series Ideas #7: Rules

The Research
Browse the most popular YouTube videos amongst young Christians and you’ll find that many are exploring the “do’s” and “do not’s” of their faith

Browse the most popular YouTube videos amongst young Christians and you’ll find that many are exploring the “do’s” and “do not’s” of their faith

In my experience, it’s easy for Christians to obsess over the “rules” of their faith – the do’s and do not’s.

As if that’s not enough…

The perceived legalism of Christianity has become the trademark of a faith that should be marked instead by redemptive and selfless love.25

Here’s the bottom line:

The people in your congregation are full of questions pertaining to their faith and how it applies to day-to-day living.

Consider dedicating a yearly sermon series to responding to these questions (perhaps a summer Q&A series with a panel instead of just a single speaker).

Related Bible Verses:

No. 8 – Sermon Series Ideas – Purpose

Sermon Series Ideas #8: Purpose

Sermon Series Ideas #8: Purpose

The Research
  • The most popular Bible verse on Bible Study Tools is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”26
  • The second most popular Bible verse on Bible Gateway is Jeremiah 29:1127
  • The third most popular Bible verse on Bible Gateway is Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose28
  • A May 2005 survey of American pastors and ministers conducted by George Barna asked Christian leaders to identify what books were the most influential on their lives and ministries. The most popular response? The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren – a book that has sold more than 70 million copies and spent 90 weeks on the bestseller list29
  • Among young adults who remain active in local churches after high school, 46% reported that they “learned about how Christians can positively contribute to society” – compared to only 20% among church dropouts30

Simply stated, most of us long for purpose and meaning.

As it turns out, this longing is reflected in the Bible verses we turn to most often.

Of the ten most popular Bible verses on Bible Gateway, more than half possess themes of purpose and meaning.31

What does this mean for you?

We all want to be a part of something greater than ourselves – especially young Christians.

Constructing a sermon series exploring true purpose and meaning rooted in Christ is a smart way to engage your congregation – while rallying them around the mission of Jesus.

Related Bible Verses:

No. 9 – Sermon Series Ideas – Spirituality

Sermon Series Ideas #9: Spirituality

Sermon Series Ideas #9: Spirituality

The Research
  • The #1 reason Millennials claim church attendance is not important is that “I find God elsewhere”32
  • In 2012, Jefferson Bethke’s spoken word Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus went viral racking up more than 33 million views
  • About a quarter of U.S. adults (27%) now say they think of themselves as spiritual but not religious – up 8 percentage points in five years33

It’s true…

While church attendance may be declining, spirituality is actually on the rise.

Why does this matter?

The Christian tradition is steeped in rich spiritual practice.

Prayer. Meditation. Communion. Baptism. Fasting. Solitude.

…just to name a few.

Setting aside a yearly sermon series to explore the spiritual practices of Christianity will meet a felt need amongst your church and community, while also allowing you to refocus on the ancient traditions of the Christian faith.

Related Bible Verses:

Free Bonus: Click here to download The Complete Sermon Series Graphics Bundle – this free bonus includes 24 total graphics – including title graphics AND blank graphics so you can add your own text

No. 10 – Sermon Series Ideas – Influencers

Sermon Series Ideas #10: Influencers

Sermon Series Ideas #10: Influencers

The Research
  • 95% of Gen Z is active on YouTube34
  • 50% of Gen Z says they “can’t live without YouTube”35
  • Boomers and Seniors spend more time online (19 hours each week) than every other form of media36
  • For Boomers and Seniors, the internet ranks as the most popular source to learn more about a topic of interest37
  • Adults ages 50+ spend 4 hours and 9 minutes on social media each week38
  • Adults ages 35-49 spend 6 hours and 58 minutes on social media each week39
  • Adults ages 18-34 spend 6 hours and 19 minutes on social media each week40
Despite common misconceptions, older individuals embrace digital media

Despite common misconceptions, older individuals embrace digital media

Boomers and Seniors rank the internet as the most popular source to learn more about a topic of interest

Boomers and Seniors rank the internet as the most popular source to learn more about a topic of interest

Here’s the deal:

We’re living through the biggest communication shift in 500 years.

Consider this…

Three-quarters of children say they would consider some sort of career in online videos. More than a third want to be a YouTuber when they grow up and nearly a fifth want to work as a blogger/vlogger.41

In just ten short years, the world has fundamentally changed. Every industry is being disrupted. Every area of our lives is affected.

How does our faith inform and intersect with this new world of digital? That’s what this sermon series should aim to address.

Related Bible Verses:

No. 11 – Sermon Series Ideas – Fear

Sermon Series Ideas #11: Fear

Sermon Series Ideas #11: Fear

The Research
  • 40% of the top 10 most popular Bible verses on Bible Study Tools address fear (Psalm 23, Philippians 4:13, Isaiah 41:10, Psalms 46:1)42
  • The average student loan debt for Class of 2017 graduates is $39,400up 6% from the previous year43
  • 40% of Millennials say they fear getting stuck with no development opportunities44
How life has changed for Americans aged 25 to 34

How life has changed for Americans aged 25 to 34

To make a point, 4 out of the 10 most popular Bible verses on Bible Study Tools directly address fear.

You see, faith and Scripture play an integral role in combatting fear and uncertainty.

Of course, fear is unavoidable.

But equipping your church to confront fear in an ever-changing world is critical.

Related Bible Verses:

No. 12 – Sermon Series Ideas – Body

Sermon Series Ideas #12: Body

Sermon Series Ideas #12: Body

The Research
  • Approximately 80% of U.S. women don’t like how they look45
  • 34% of men are dissatisfied with their body46
  • Over 50% of Americans aren’t happy with their current weight47
  • 70% of normal weighted women want to be thinner48
  • Over 80% of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat49
  • Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful50
  • More than half of women globally (54%) agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic51
We are in the middle of a body image crisis

We are in the middle of a body image crisis

There’s no other way to put it…

Men and women around the world are dissatisfied with their bodies.

It gets worse:

Because according to 2007 statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States has the highest prevalence of overweight adults in the English-speaking world.52

Here’s the good news:

The Bible offers a redemptive view of the human body.

We reflect the image of God. We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Dedicate this sermon series to helping your church see themselves through the eyes of their creator.

Related Bible Verses:

Now…it’s your turn

I hope this post inspired you by presenting sermon series ideas that you may have never considered before.

Remember:

All of these sermon series ideas are working GREAT right now (in 2018).

Why?

Because each of these sermon series ideas finds the intersection between faith and culture.

Oh…

…and they’re all backed by a ton of research.

Don’t forget to also download each of the accompanying ready-to-go sermon series graphics.

Just click below to download the free bundle!

Free Bonus: Click here to download The Complete Sermon Series Graphics Bundle – this free bonus includes 24 total graphics – including title graphics AND blank graphics so you can add your own text