As I write this post, I am sitting in the pastor’s study at Morningside, listening to the hum of traffic heading to and from town. My mind fills with images of families traveling for the holidays or husbands scurrying to purchase their wives’ gifts. Christmas is in three days, which means 2022 is winding down. We only have nine days until 2023!
With a fresh new year heading towards us, I’ve been working on my preaching calendar. After reading The Whole Counsel of God: Why and How to Preach the Entire Bible by Andrew Reid and Tim Patrick, it encouraged me to keep my hand to the plow and faithfully preach through books of the Bible. In short, Reid and Patrick give practical guidance for feeding your congregation a balanced diet from the Word of God.
They suggest preaching from six sections of the Scripture over a three-year cycle (i.e., Torah, Former Prophets, Latter Prophets, Writing, Gospel, Other New Testament books). They make the case for preaching series created by following the natural breaks of the text. For example, you could cover Genesis in seven series: a series on Creation (1:1-2:25); a series on the Fall (3:1-5:32); a series covering the Flood and Tower of Babel (6:1-11:9); a series on each of the lives of Abraham (11:10-25:18), Isaac (25:19-26:35), Jacob (27:1-36:43), and Joseph (37:1-50:26). In between these series from Genesis, you would preach from other books located outside the Torah. The key is not moving to another book in the Torah until you finish with Genesis. Their advice spurred me on to map out what books of the Bible I’ll lead my congregation through next year. (Again, it’s just nine days away!)
Here is a list of the biblical books I’ll be leading my congregation through in 2023:
I plan to have two series from the book of Acts. The first series will cover Acts 1:1-2:47 in January and February, and the second will work through Acts 3:1-8:4 in August through October. I won’t preach another book in the “other New Testament” category until I finish Acts.
I plan to preach a four sermon series through Ruth during the months of March and April.
I’m planning two series from Mark. Mark 1:1-2:12 will be one series from April through June and Mark 2:13-3:35 will be another series in November and December.
My plan is to preach the book of Joel in July in four sermons.
As you probably noticed already, preaching through books of the Bible this way allows you to plod a course through books of the Bible, but also allows you to expose your congregation to a variety of texts. In short, they receive a well-balanced diet from all portions of the Bible.