Sunday’s Message Had Legos

This past Sunday I had the privilege of speaking at Creekside Church.  We are working through a series called “Can You Trust the Bible.”  On Sunday I talked about how to read the Bible as a narrative.  Too often I think people approach the Bible with the wrong motives or assumptions about the text.  My understanding of how to approach the Bible is that it is the story of God rescuing his people.  As a Christian I understand that Jesus (his sacrificial death on the cross and resurrection) is the ultimate way that God rescues his people.  I’ve been influenced by N.T. Wright and the book The Drama of Scripture.

I encouraged Creekside to read the Bible as a narrative and to understand that we have a part to play because God’s story is not finished.  You can listen to the sermon here or get the video here.

I also used lego images from BrickTestament.com to help illustrate my message.  I have been asked to post my presentation so here that is as well. Narrative of Scripture presentation.

Enjoy.

On Preaching pt.1 – Not An Expert

[i’m going to try to do a writing series.  this is something i haven’t done before, but this is the first part of a series On Preaching]

 

On Preaching pt.1

 Not an Expert

I will be the first to say that I am no expert on preaching.  To which you might say, then why am I reading this?  That is a great question.  And I will answer it with another question, who truly is an expert on preaching?  And here’s another question for preachers, are you an expert on everything you talk about on a Sunday morning?

No.

You are not an expert on everything that you talk about in your sermon.

You are not an expert on

. . . parenting

. . . marriage

. . . money

. . . sex

. . . theology

. . . ____________

The challenge with being a preacher is that we get up on the platform every week and we are expected to be the expert on whatever we are talking about.  For the most part that expectation is our own fault.  We want to do come across as smart, educated and prepared on whatever topic we have to work through.

But how can we possible be experts on so many things?  Honestly?  How can we be experts on so many different topics?

This is a typical schedule for most preachers.

Sunday – Preach a sermon (one, two, three, even four times)

Monday – Recover from Sunday and get read for next weeks sermon

Meet with three staff members

Evening – Pre-marriage counseling

Tuesday – Morning – Staff meeting 9-11 (could go longer than that)

Afternoon – Work on sermon research and writing

Wednesday – Morning meet with missionary

Lunch Meet with some small group leaders

Afternoon – Meet with creative team.

Thursday – Morning – Prepreach sermon notes

before lunch – revise notes.  Go over them again

Afternoon – meet with a couple whose marriage is falling apart

Friday – Sabbath – Don’t work (Funerals and Weddings still happen on these days)

Saturday – See Friday (days off are good)

That’s a typical week.  That’s generous for amount of time that could actually be set aside for most pastors and their sermon preparation.

So let’s be honest preachers, we are not experts.  I am not an expert on preaching, and neither are you.  At best we are all on various stages of studentship when it comes to preaching.  We are all learning along the way.  Are we okay with that?  Are we okay with being honest with ourselves to say that we are learning as we go?  Are we okay with saying, that not every sermon is going to be the best sermon that we ever preached?  Are we okay with getting in front of our congregation and saying, you know what, I’m not an expert at this topic for this sunday, but here is what the Bible says, and here is how I read this and these are some applications that I think God wants me to say to you.

Are we okay with that?  Are we okay with not being experts?

Teach Us To Pray

I was recently cleaning out my book shelves when I came across an old book that looked interesting.  It’s called With Christ by Andrew Murray.  It’s a daily devotional book, 31 short chapter, all about prayer.  Prayer is one of the areas in my walk with Christ where I know that I need to be more intentional.  So I’m starting this book.  It’s old, written before TV and Radio and all the distractions of the world today, so I thought this would be a great resources.

The first chapter did not disappoint.  This quote was worth the time already.

Jesus never taught his disciples how to preach, only how to pray.  He did not speak much of what was needed to preach well, but much of praying well.  TO know how to speak to God is more than knowing how to speak to man.  Not power with men, but power with God is the first thing.

Such a needed reminder for my life.  Prayer is so important to God because he values our relationship with him.  I believe that God’s opinion of me is more important than anyone else’s opinion.  Prayer is one of the ways that I can build my relationship with God.

Jesus teach us how to pray.

Jesus teach me how to pray.

Matt Chandler – Faith and Boldness

I know everyone in the young pastor blog-o-twitter-sphere has already posted this video.  But I had some things to say too so I’m joining the party.

Matt Chandler is the teaching pastor at Village Church in Dallas Texas.  As the video explains he had a brain tumor, we don’t know if it’s caner or not, and his surgery successfully removed the tumor and he’s alive and doing well.  Watch this video and I want you to hear two things.  1) His faith that Christ is good even in the face of a surgery that could take his life, even in the possibility of cancer.  Matt’s faith is not shaken. 2) Listen for Matt’s boldness.  He’s not trying to be a jerk or to take this whole situation lightly.  Matt’s faith in the goodness of Christ is what leads to this boldness and confidence.

So what’s your problem?  What are you struggling with?  I’m willing to bet that most of us are not facing down a brain tumor, and yet we have the audacity to not believe that the goodness of Christ is bigger than the problems we are facing.

Matt is one of the pastors that I have learned a lot from.  I’ve never been to his church, I’ve never even met him, but he’s been a great example to me.

Here are some more video’s that I thought I would share with you.

Here’s some audio from a sermon that was put to graphics.

Here’s a sermon from the Desiring God Conference where he is encouraging all preaching to be Christ focused.

advice for young preachers

I hope Matt recovers quickly and if you are reading this please pray for his family and for a speedy recovery.

Somedays

Can I just be honest.  Some days (particularly sundays) you feel like the first two guys in the picture below.  Other days you feel like the third.  Yesterday I personally felt like the third.  Tired, frazzled, and out of rythym.

If anyone was drawn closer to Jesus yesterday it was clearly a work of the Holy Spirit.  So far I’ve received good feedback, but I know that it was definitely not me.  Thank you Holy Spirit for filling in our gaps and giving us strength in our weakness.  You are just too good to us.

Some Blog Thoughts

Los is back with a great post here.

of particular note is #4.

I wonder if modern day Christian leaders are more concerned about becoming famous than becoming Jesus?

And here’s a quote from Will Wilimon

The gospel is not simply about meeting people’s needs. The gospel is also a critique of our needs, an attempt to give us needs worth having. The Bible appears to have little interest in so many of the needs and desires that consume present-day North Americans. Therefore, pastoral care will be about much more than meeting people’s needs. It will also be about indoctrination, inculturation, which is also- from the peculiar viewpoint of the gospel- care. Our care must form people into the sort of people who have had their needs rearranged in the light of Christ.

thanks Bob.

And from Ben Arment

Next time we complain about our audience not bringing their Bibles or not laughing at our jokes or not taking us seriously or listening intently, we have to remember… we raised them that way.

Just some thoughts from the blogosphere.