Sermon Competition

The Jack P. and Doris T. Lowndes Sermon Competition, sponsored by the Lord’s Day Alliance together with the Boston Theological Institute, is named in honor of the Lowndes who faithfully served as executive director and administrative assistant respectively from 1992 to 2000. The competition encourages preparation of a sermon for a local Christian congregation that highlights the importance of Sabbath in the life of Christians.


The theme for the 2014-2015 Lowndes Sermon Competition is Building an Intergenerational Community, preaching on the Fifth Commandment in the Light of the Fourth Commandment (Exodus 20:12; cf, Deut 5:16; Mt 15:4; 19:19; Mk 7:10; 10:19; Luke 18:20; Eph 6:2). Jesus affirmed the Law and its broader application among His followers. The challenges of Christian discipleship demand both an understanding, and a proper application, of Law in the context of Jesus’ offer of grace, forgiveness and a transformed life.  The basis of social order rests upon our ability to construct an intergenerational communiity. Sabbath/Sunday speaks to the needs of an intergenerational society. The theologian Karl Barth writes that this day is a day for relationships. It is not to be a day spent in isolation from others. Insofar as the day belongs to man, it does not belong to man or woman in isolation from others: “It is a communal benefit and a communal duty” (Church Dogmatics, III.4.53., p. 69).

Eligibility & Dates

Practicing parish ministers, whether student pastor or full-­time pastor, who have preaching responsibilities on a regular basis are eligible to submit an entry. The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2015. Winners will be notified by February, 2016 and announced publicly in the spring issue of Sunday Magazine.

Awards and Rules

The following awards will be available – $1,250 first prize; $1,000 second prize, and; $750 third prize. The award-winning sermon(s) will be printed in SundayMagazine and the 1st place winner will be invited to present the sermon at an event sponsored by the Lord’s Day Alliance.

The following rules apply equally to all submitting entries:

  1. Sermons must be the original work of the submitter and must not have been published. Though copyright of the sermon will remain the property of the preparer, The Lord’s Day Alliance will have initial rights to publish and print the sermon and any further use of the sermon in print will acknowledge the LDAA’s Jack P. and Doris T. Lowndes Sermon Competition as the source of inspiration for the sermon.
  2. The sermon must use the theme “Building an Intergenerational Community” demonstrating a connection between the 5th commandment (Exodus 20:12) on “honor your father and your mother,” and the 4th commandment on Sabbath practice.
  3. The length of the sermon should be 2,500 words or less, plus documented quotations/sources.
  4. Participants must submit an electronic copy in MSWord or text format, and an audio and/or video recorded copy of the sermon. The audio/video copy does not need to be professionally made, but should adequately record the sermon for the judges to clearly hear.

Sermons will be judged on the basis of the following:

  • Biblical accuracy
  • Originality
  • Timeliness of topic
  • Quality of sermon construction
  • Ability to motivate/inform/call to action
  • Include a brief cover letter giving any significant background about the sermon.
  • Include a brief biographical sketch.
  • Include your mailing address, telephone number, and email address.
  • Mail entries to:
Lowndes Sermon Competition
The Lord’s Day Alliance of the U.S.
2715 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30305-2907
(404) 693-5530 phone/text
Previous Winners

2013 Sermon Competition Winner

Opposition Standing in the Face of Truth
by Shivonne C. McKay, Princeton Theological Seminary

2012 Sermon Competition Winner

Let’s Take a Day
by Shawn Woo, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

2011 Sermon Competition Winner

Forgetting Egypt and Remembering Sabbath
by Chris Hughes, Wake Forest University School of Divinity

2010 Sermon Competition Winner

Dens of Iniquity: Sabbath and a Society of Greed
by Vicar Andy Sorenson, Christ Lutheran Church of Niantic, CT