I was thinking about the trend of having teaching series’ last anywhere from 4 – 8 weeks. The reasoning behind it at times is that we don’t want people to get bored, we don’t want to dwell on a subject for too long, people have shorter attention spans, etc… But what if we took a page out of what TV has been doing for years? They aren’t showing a 4-part mini-series anymore for the most part. They are going with season long shows. A season for a TV show is anywhere from 4-8 months. So what would happen if we took 8 months to teach something? I did it this past year in the Sermon on the Mount. I can say it was the best received series of messages we have ever done. What if we decided to teach one of the Gospels for an entire year? I did that with the Gospel of John 2 years ago and it was very well received.
We tend to sometimes shy away from that because we want people to stick around for the entire series, and I understand that. We do short 4-8 weeks series also. In fact, I’m getting reading to start a 4 week series in a couple of weeks. But the person who shows up for the first time doesn’t care if you’re in the middle of a series or just starting one. They want to know if the message they are listening to right now is relevant to their lives. If it is, they’ll come back to hear it again.
Also, people aren’t in town for 6 weeks in a row many times. Our church is in Miami, which is very transient. So some people miss 3 Sundays in a row due to vacation, illness, business, laziness, or a combination of all of them. So to have a longer series keeps them in the loop at to what is being taught.
But what I don’t want to do is pigeonhole and limit myself to being able to only teach in short series. I believe if we can all follow ’24’, Alias, Lost, or any other show for several months and they can keep our attention, I believe we can do the same through our creativity and innovation in our teaching…