New Years Sermons and Sermon Outlines

Are you looking for ideas for New Years sermons or sermon outlines?

This website has many sermon, scripture, and prayer resources for the pastor, parent, or teacher, because every holiday is a "teachable moment" for your congregation, children, or students.

New Years Day is a "teachable moment", a wonderful opportunity for repentance and thanksgiving for the past year, and prayer and celebration for the New Year.

It's a time people in the world make all kinds of worldly resolutions. How much more important that we make - and keep - resolutions that have eternal consequences.

Simple Sermon Planning

I've been a school teacher for years, and then a pastor for years. I found out that it is necessary to have a good plan - a good outline - you can use each time - for every single sermon, meeting, class, and counseling session.

Because we are all pressed for time, we need simple organizational tools. And the simpler, the better, because it seems we all just keep getting busier and busier with more and more duties.

So, after a few essential preliminaries, I'm going to give you a simple 3-step sermon plan, and then apply it to a New Years Sermon.

Why a Simple Plan is Needed

Basically, you have only a short time once a week to give your sermon - or maybe an extra one on holidays like New Years Day. And because the message is really the Lord's message - the most important message in the whole world with eternal consequences - it is necessary to make every sermon really count.

It has only been rather recently that I received the inspiration of this 3-step outline. I've taken extensive consulting and coaching training over several years, to use as I work with people in life and business.

In my coaching and counseling practice, it has sometimes been hard for me to stick to a time limit. In fact, when I was a pastor, I had some fairly long-winded sermons, I'm somewhat embarrassed to say.

Now I am finding that this simple 3-step outline is a useful tool for sermons, classes, meetings, lectures, public speaking, coaching, consulting, and even writing a book.

It's kind of sad that I had to learn this 3-step outline to help me make progress and improvements in a business setting. But maybe, this is exactly why Jesus said that the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of the light. (Luke 16:8)

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

It is important to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance before any undertaking, but especially in preparing and preaching God's word in the biblical and Gospel message.

  • Only God fully knows the spiritual needs of souls.
  • The spiritual needs and progress of each congregation are different.
  • No two sermons will be exactly alike, as every preacher is different and has different preaching styles.
  • It is very helpful to open every sermon with a public prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Know Your Congregation, Know Yourself

It is helpful, of course, that you know your congregation or students well enough, to know their progress, and their level of understanding, and commitment.

This comes with time and spiritual maturity, but it is not essential.

Many traveling preachers, missionaries, and revivalists have brought about great spiritual fruit because of their prayer life, their devotion to the Word of God which never returns void (Isaiah 55:11), and the insights and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

The Simple 3-Step Plan for Any Sermon

After opening with a public prayer for God's guidance, this is the basic outline for a simple sermon:

  1. Celebrate the Progress
  2. Address the Challenges
  3. Call to Action

Applied to a teacher giving a Math class, this could be:

  1. Celebrate the Progress since the last class - handing back graded tests or homework with appropriate comments
  2. Address the Challenges - going through the next math problems, with instruction and practice
  3. Call to Action - giving the next assignment for homework

Applied to a normal sermon, this could be

  1. Celebrate the progress over the past week - giving thanks to God for our growth in faith worship and practice, especially for our life being more closely united to Christ, following his teaching and example especially in the Gospel, and the writings of the apostles in the Epistles, and then the instructions of God in the Holy Scripture in general. And because we are human and usually fail on a regular basis, the celebration is indeed more and more about Christ, and less and less about ourselves. Often, this is done to a great degree in the praise and worship section of your service.
  2. Address the Challenges - Give stories,examples and instructions from the bible, especially from the life and teaching of Christ in the Gospels, with instructions and examples how to apply it practically in our own lives.
  3. Call to Action - Give homework for the week.

The 3-Step Plan for a Sermon on New Years Day

On New Years Day, it is especially important that we as a congregation, pray together to the Holy Spirit for guidance throughout the entire upcoming New Year.

New Years has a special application of the 3-step plan. Instead of a week at a time, we cover the past year and the future year.

  1. Celebrate the Progress - over the past year. Many people consider this past year horrible, with new and growing financial, medical, family, and life problems. We should thank God for the tremendous blessings he gives us, such as life, courage, grace, mercy, hope, peace, etc.
  2. Address the Challenges - of the upcoming year. From the example and teachings of Christ and from the Holy Scriptures, teach what the Holy Spirit guides you, to encourage and inspire and build up your Congregation through the challenges they are facing now and in the coming year.
  3. Call to Action - give practical resolutions, steps you and your congregation must take to follow Christ and face our spiritual challenges.

The Call to Action in the Sermon

In many sermons, the Call to Action is .... totally missing.

I think many pastors - and I'm talking to myself also - we miss the boat by not giving our people something to work on during the week, and then following up the next week, by holding your people accountable..

God expects his people to bear fruit. He gives the graces to accomplish what seems impossible.

We live in an age of incredible spiritual laziness even among the best of christians, the best of pastors.

It is our job as pastors to challenge our people - and especially ourselves - to the progress God demands of us, and our duty is to hold ourselves and our people accountable to their responsibilities.

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, the Good Pastor

Pastor means Shepherd. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, continually held his disciples accountable. And if they walked away because the truth was "too hard", he let them walk away.

Even at the Last Supper, Jesus told his followers they were his friends only if they did the things he told them to do. (John 15:14)

Jesus said it isn't those who say Lord, Lord, but those who do the will of his Father that will enter Heaven. (Matthew 7:21)

Your Sheep also, Dear Pastor

God has privileged us with shepherding a portion of his vast flock of souls.

Just like a Good Shepherd, we must lead the sheep to the right kind of water, the right kind of grass and greens, the right kind of shelter for protection.

Or else the sheep will starve, be poisoned, be attacked and harmed if not outright killed.

We must give them practical action steps, or our sermon or class is basically worthless and will not bear fruit.

President Abraham Lincoln once told a young preacher that the sermon he gave was missing the Call to Action. You can read this story in Veterans Day Speeches.

An example of a Call to Action in a Sermon

Let's say, for example, that slandering gossip is ruining - or running - your parish.

  1. Celebrate the Progress - Celebrate the life and example of Jesus, who was silent before his accusers, and only spoke the truth, and only criticized the actions of others based on the truth and his position of divine authority
  2. Address the Challenges - Show the terrible destruction of a sinful tongue, based on the Epistle of James, and the teaching of Christ on the terrible consequences of those who cause scandals.
  3. Call to Action - Those who have this sinful habit of gossiping to bite their tongue and lock their lips and teeth when tempted, and stay away from the temptation by staying off the phone or hanging up, stay away from other gossipers, etc. And everyone, including those who don't have a problem gossiping, to pray every day for 15 minutes for God to give his grace and help start the problems.

And the very next week ....

Following up in the Next Sermon

This is where consistency bears fruit. In the next sermon, you begin by celebrating the progress. Or, begging God's mercy and forgiveness for our failures, and then for grace to start anew.

This is where you must be as St. Paul says of himself, not just teachers but spiritual fathers (1 Corinthians 4:15), having compassion on God's spiritual family, and doing all in your power to assist your congregations.

You must hold up the ideal, and hold yourself and your sheep to doing their duty.

In our Sermons - Never Give Up Hope

When there is failure, we continue to beg God to wake up our sleeping, starving, dying sheep. We get busy getting God's action message into our ears and their ears again, and be reminded over and over with God's Holy Word.

So that one day, by the mercy and grace and blessing of God, His Holy word might finally reach the mind, the heart, and the souls of our sheep, God's sheep, the sheep he has given us to pastor.

We are all a work in progress. It is a lifetime of work.

New Years is a great time of hope for a better year. We can't see what God sees, and what seems a horrible year to some may be a very good year in God's sight.

So preach about the necessity of hope, of doing our part to the fullest of our poor abilities, and trusting and having confidence in God to bless our efforts with his mercy and grace, to accomplish in us what is impossible by ourselves.

To the point they are worthy of heaven.

You'll thank your stars you did.

And my wish and prayer for you - pastor, teacher, parent, or reader - is that we - you and your loved ones have a truly blessed, prosperous, holy, healthy and happy New Year.

A Great New Years Sermon Theme - Gratitude to God

Thanks be to God. It was one of my mother's favorite prayers said over and over many times a day.

New Years Eve and New Years is a very good time to preach the value of gratitude, and how it brings us even greater blessings.

It is good to give thanks. (Psalm 92:1)

In every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

More Bible Sermons

Here are some more christian and bible sermon ideas, for holidays, special days, and special events in your life.

These can also be used by parents, teachers, and pastors for use in preparing lessons, classes, and studies at home, school, or church.

Holidays, life events, and special occasions are unique "teachable moments" to put forth your best effort with God's help - to give a truly inspiring and encouraging message.

Gratitude, a thankful spirit, and appreciation are very worthwhile New Year's resolutions.

Thank your stars!

Go to New Years Traditions & Poems | Go to Home Page

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