When was the last time you heard a truly fresh Thanksgiving sermon?
It’s been a while for me, too.
- Be thankful!
- You are so blessed!
- Here’s how to practice gratitude!
Let’s be honest:
If you can break the traditional Thanksgiving sermon mold, you will have a captive audience.
If you can find a new angle for a week that celebrates gratitude, you’re the next Tony Robbins.
But here’s the truth:
It’s actually not that hard to bring a fresh take to your congregation on Thanksgiving Sunday.
Author Austin Kleon published a book in 2012 that become the Bible of the design and creative world. It’s called Steal Like an Artist.
I’ll admit it: the title sounds sketchy.
But he’s not encouraging people to plagiarize (we’ve seen enough of that in the pulpit).
Kleon’s profoundly tactical point is very simple:
Find the best people in your field.
Learn how to imitate them.
Through imitating them, internalize their concepts in your own creativity.
It’s easy to think that, as a pastor, all your sermon ideas need to derive 100% from your own brain.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Throughout all of church history, the great preachers, theologians, and church fathers have drawn on those who came before.
In honor of that great Christian tradition of drawing on the greats to bring greatness into your own ministry, we’ve provided eight really insightful clips on thanksgiving that will infuse your sermon writing process with new ideas, inflections, homiletical insights, and Bible applications that will encourage, challenge, and uplift your congregation.
But here’s the deal, pastor:
There's a wealth of resources available you can use to find a new illustration or a different angle on familiar Bible verses about Thanksgiving.
To help you think through what you’re going to preach this Thanksgiving, we’ve pulled together a variety of Thanksgiving sermons you can watch or listen to.
Block out a quick 15 minutes, and get 15 hours worth of sermon prep from the videos below.
1. “Learn How Your Life Can Be A Thank You Gift To God”
From Rick Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church:
2. Thanks and giving
Don’t have the bandwidth to prepare a sermon this Thanksgiving?
From our friends at Ministry Pass, you can purchase a three-week sermon series on Thanksgiving. In this sermon series, you’ll get the following:
- Series guides
- Talking points
- Sermon illustrations
- Small group questions
- Graphics bundle
- Bumper video
- Photoshop layers
With this material, you can take their lead or adapt what they provide to suit your needs.
Here’s a brief video explanation:
3. The Power of Being Thankful
From the late Eddie Long, former pastor of New Birth in Atlanta.
4. “The Nine Guys Who Missed Thanksgiving”
From Chris Brown, a senior pastor at North Coast Church.
Listen to the audio here: http://sermons.northcoastchurch.com/audios/op01.mp3
5. “Thanksgiving Every Day”
From Charles Stanley, the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and the founder and president of In Touch Ministries:
6. “I’m So Blessed”
From Miles McPherson, senior pastor of the Rock Church in San Diego, California:
This is the first part of a current short-term sermon series. So be sure to follow up the next few weeks for additional sermons for Thanksgiving.
7. "Count It All Joy"
From Brian Houston, senior pastor at Hillsong Church.
8. “Start a Lifestyle of Being Thankful”
From Francis Chan, teaching pastor of Cornerstone Community Church and founder of Eternity Bible College.
9. “Stay Positive: Part 2—‘Gratitude’”
From Craig Groeschel, senior pastor of Life.Church.
Looking for more sermon writing resources for pastors?
We've got you covered.
- 10 Christmas Sermons to Make Pastors Merry and Bright
- Make Your Father’s Day Sermon Memorable
- How to Write a Sermon: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide
- 52 Church Offering Talks for Every Occasion
- FREE Sermon Series on Generosity
- 12 Sermons on Giving and Generosity Every Pastor Needs to Hear
Editor's note: This post was updated to reflect up to date information and accuracy on September 21, 2020.