Posted in preaching

Can I preach the same sermon two weeks in a row?

My thoughts here are partly tongue-in-cheek and partly “why not?” In thirty-five years of ministry, I’ve only got one sermon I’ve used more than once. It was a wedding message that someone heard and actually requested when he and his spouse renewed their marriage vows. Other than that, I’ve always prepared a fresh sermon for Sunday worship, funerals, weddings and special occasions like Christmas.

The other day I wondered, “What would happen if I preached the exact same sermon two weeks in a row?” Here are a few possibilities.

  • People tend to forget what they just heard. I’ll bet most people wouldn’t even know it was a rerun.
  • Many don’t attend worship weekly, so they wouldn’t hear it twice. Some folk would miss both of them.
  • Some would think, “This sounds familiar.” But they wouldn’t be able to put their finger on why.
  • There would have to be someone who would immediately react, “Hey, didn’t you preached that sermon last week?”

I remember reading about a pastor who preached a sermon several weeks in a row. When asked why, he said, “After the first time, nothing changed, so I thought you all needed to hear it again!”

A pastor friend of mine told me about one of his classmates from seminary who wrote fifty-two sermons for his first year of ministry. From then on, he simply cycled through them for the rest his career. That approach would free up a lot of your time.

I might just do it. I’m not going to tell when or where. I’ll let you know how it goes.

2 thoughts on “Can I preach the same sermon two weeks in a row?

  1. when in early Sem days the class was assigned to write a sermon on Zachias. Many Sem students preached at vacancy congregations. One Sunday I preached this sermon at a vacancy
    and on the way out of church a parishioner said it was the best sermon on Zachias he had heard this month…

    1. What a great memory, Larry! The people in those churches were doing God’s work by letting us preach for them.

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