Happy Friday Pastor! Is this your day off? Jonny and I take Fridays off. Well, mostly. You know. Today we are working like maniacal henchmen on our final assignments of the semester at Bethel Seminary. Other than that, we take Fridays off. Hey, I wanted to remind you of a great opportunity!
Are you preaching this weekend? Yeah, I know. I tricked you. THAT''S the great opportunity. Except I do hope that you see it that way though! And, as you look to Saturday night, or Sunday morning, I thought I would gently remind you of a few things in anticipation of your message:
Thing #1 - You are using the Bible, right? Several years ago, I actually got so excited for a few weeks talking about the Bible (Bible study), that I didn't actually teach the Bible itself. It's always good to preach from the text itself. God says it better than us. And yes, someone did let me know! :)
Thing #2 - What is it you want to say with your message? Could you tell me your message/talk/sermon in just one succinct sentence? It's always nice when you can do that.
Thing #3 - How about illustrations? Stories cannot go in one ear and out the other, like facts, points, and information can. Stories get stuck between our ears somewhere when we connect pieces of them to our own life stories. We can't not do that. Tell appropriate, illustrative stories.
Thing #4 - This is a question... will you be more concerned with your message, or your delivery than you are about the people sitting around you? They long to know that they matter to you, that you care about them, that you see them, that you know them, and that you would have come to church even if you knew they were the only one showing up!.
Thing #5 - Oh yeah, how about prayer? Have you sat with God this week and just talked to him about your message? Then, did you sit and listen? If you haven't, there's good news... you've still got time! Yes you do. Do. It. Sit yourself down. Be quiet for five minutes. Then tell God what you think your message is supposed to be about. Talk to him.
Can you handle one more thing? (Reminds me of Dr. Suess' "thing one or thing two, which thing are you?") Here's the final thing:
Thing #6 - Jesus loves you and he likes you, and he's so happy that you will share his love and his truth with people this weekend. He's rooting for you. He will make sure his Spirit will be with you and in you, and with your people - helping them to understand it all. You are a preaching team with the Trinity this weekend. The triune God and you. So be confident, passionate, and joyful.
Listen, just have a blast this weekend! It isn't brain surgery or rocket science (is that even a thing anymore?) and you're not in charge, Jesus is. His yoke is EASY and his burden is LIGHT.
Have a wonderful weekend. And if you've read this far, thanks for hanging out with me and Jonny at 200churches. Really. Thanks.
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