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March 17, 2016

All on the Same Page: Preaching Teams

By Daniel Im

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Preaching Teams

Have you ever asked someone or a group, “Are we all on the same page?” Of course you have. Whether it was your children you were parenting, a staff you were leading, or a group you were facilitating, I’m sure at some point you have let those words fly. And you let them fly because you know that to be effective at fulfilling your mission or purpose everyone needs to be on the same page.

The concept of “being on the same page” is a principle that makes preaching teams effective. A church that starts another campus or site takes their ministry blueprint and duplicates it—and contextualizes it—at another location. With regard to corporate teaching, many churches simplify the strategy through simulcast technology. However, the use of a live teaching pastor that preaches the same series and text of the lead pastor is a multisite teaching model that is gaining traction.

Recently, I conversed with Mark Jobe, Lead Pastor of New Life Community Church in Chicago, IL, and author of  Unstuck: Out of Your Cave into Your Call, about their corporate teaching strategy, which affects their over 45 different worship gatherings at their 25 different locations throughout the Chicagoland area.

Mark shared with me how New Life’s 25 campus teaching pastors all get on the same page with regard to the weekend message series. While it has evolved over the years, Mark shared their four-step process of how all their campus teaching pastors get on the same page for each sermon series.

Step 1: Survey

Sometime around October, New Life sends a short survey to all the campus teaching pastors. This survey allows each pastor to speak into planning and preparing next year’s sermon series’. In this survey they share the topics, books of the Bible, passages, and ideas they sense the Lord leading New Life to cover the following year.

Step 2: Planning Ahead

After the pastors return the surveys, a meeting is scheduled for 12–13 of the campus pastors who also serve as campus coaches for the other remaining campus pastors. During this meeting, the surveys are discussed, the topics are chosen, the passages are highlighted, and the sermon series’ are determined. Typically, according to Mark, New Life plans 8–12 series per year. After determining the series, each campus pastor (that is present for this particular meeting) is assigned a series that they and their team will plan for the following year.

Step 3: Preparing a Sermon Series Packet

At some point between being assigned the series and preaching the series, the campus pastors that serve as campus pastor coaches will meet with their team to create, develop, and plan the entire sermon series. This includes passing the topic along to the creative team who will create the graphics, bumpers, other video content for the series, and any songs that may go along with the topic. Also, this includes the team developing each sermon—choosing the passage, assigning a title, creating an outline, and writing the content—in the series.

To read the final point along with Mark’s exceptions for streamlining a weekend message series, in addition to preaching resources, click here for the full video and post.

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  • The use of a live teaching pastor that preaches the same series and text of the lead pastor is a multisite teaching model that is gaining traction.
  • Planning a year’s worth of message series is a good way to get all the campus teaching pastors on the same page teaching the same content.
  • Campus teaching pastors who are handed the teaching content will need to personally craft it to make it their own.
  • According to Mark Jobe, there are a few exceptions to streamlining the sermon series for multisite campuses.
  • Being on the same page allows teams to be more effective and efficient at fulfilling their mission.


Daniel Im

Daniel Im (@danielsangi) is the Director of Church Multiplication for NewChurches.com at LifeWay Christian Resources. He is a Teaching Pastor at The Fellowship, a multisite church in Nashville. He is the author of No Silver Bullets: Five Small Shifts that will Transform Your Ministry, and co-author of Planting Missional Churches: Your Guide to Starting Churches that Multiply (2nd ed) with Ed Stetzer. He also co-hosts the New Churches Q&A Podcast, the 5 Leadership Questions Podcast, and a brand new podcast with his wife on marriage and parenting called the IMbetween Podcast. He has an M.A. in Global Leadership and has served and pastored in church plants and multisite churches ranging from 100 people to 50,000 people in Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Korea, Edmonton, and Nashville. Visit Danielim.com to learn more.


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