This is about removing assumptions in our preaching and sermon content, so ironically, we need to begin with a few assumptions.
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When you preach, I assume your hope is to reach every person in your audience, connect them all to a new way of thinking, and lead them all to apply a new way of living. Provide true information that compels helpful application. If we hope to lead everyone in the room to the truth of our message, we must start by connecting everyone in the room to us and our message. For instance, if you only had an audience of one, developing a message that will accomplish your connecting goal would be relatively simple. To grasp where one person is in their faith, understanding of God, and engagement in a Christian worldview is likely.
Not necessarily easy, but certainly possible. With an audience of 10, the task gets more complicated — potentially 10 times more complicated in fact. A larger audience brings a larger diversity of backgrounds, understandings, willingness to believe, and willingness to apply ideas or new truths. In the face of this complexity, there is one preaching mistake I see more than any other:. As a leader you are forced to make decisions, and if your church or company is bigger than you, these decisions will inevitably be upsetting to someone.
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Decisions have a way of upsetting the status quo. In many cases, the lack of success or progress with the status quo is why decisions are necessary. Not to oversimplify it, but when decisions are made, the response seems to come from two separate categories of people:. The vocal disgruntled 2. The quiet supporters. The first category causes us to question our decision. The response at least the vocal response seems disproportionately in one direction.
And this disproportionate response can be unnerving. But vocal support can feel like an organizational oxymoron. So what should we do when the vocal disgruntled feels like the vast majority? My church upbringing formed a belief system that did not allow for any theological variance.
It makes sense in some respect. There is absolute truth, and it certainly seems possible that opening up truth to interpretation could lead to a complete loss of truth. Many seminaries thrive on this fear. Take Jesus, as an example.
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There is certainly absolute truth when it comes to his Messiahship. His death and resurrection are true and critical to faith. But what about baptism and the Christians get nervous? Is it required for salvation?
Does submersion count more than sprinkling? All the cool kids are doing it, right? Of course, with any rapidly growing phenomenon, there will be issues and problems to navigate. For background, I am a Campus Pastor.
We call it Lead Pastor, but that distinction deserves its own post. Unfortunately, too many of our answers involve walking away from ministry, from our current churches, and from even our families, friends, and ourself. A loss of passion can happen for many, many reasons. I stumbled upon this truth a year or two ago. I was in a funk. I was partially questioning my role, my responsibilities, and even ministry as a profession.
"Evangelism without listening is like playing golf blind blindfolded." - Larry Chrouch
I was considering reentering the marketplace. As I began contemplating how I arrived in the funk, I realized over time our church and everything around it had grown somewhat substantially. But, it did begin to launch a discovery process. To go back in time a bit… In the beginning years, we would have staff meeting in my car on the way to lunch. We were a much smaller church with way fewer resources.
The entire staff served as the president and the janitor.
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We were all needed for basically every element of ministry that happened in and through our church. As we grew, we added staff. We added complexity. We added complications.
watch We added a building. Throughout the change, our roles and responsibilities also changed. As the Lead Pastor, I continued to function as the president, but the janitorial elements I often did in the past faded away. We had other staff to handle some of the things I used to do.
Luke By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. What do we learn about discipleship? Memorize Luke Paraphrase What it means to you?
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When we become a child of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, we become responsible to tell others about Christ. Be prepared to share your faith with others. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defence to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Acts To help us glorify God by our lives and be effective witnesses, we need to know and obey the Scriptures. Make it your habit to daily memorize and meditate in the Scriptures. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf does not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.
God gave us His Word not only to increase our knowledge but to change our lives. It is only as we apply truth to our lives — obey the Scripture that there will be any significant changes made. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Deut From the day you received Jesus Christ as Saviour, you entered into a spiritual warfare.
Your enemy is the devil and he will do everything in his power to make you a discouraged, doubting, defeated Christian. Be aware of his wiles and trust in the Lord for victory. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom to devour. Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matt As you will learn in the following Scriptures, all believers are subject to temptation. Victory can be yours if you use the resources available. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. He knows that there will be time when they will yield to sin and temptation. In His graciousness He has provided a way for us, through confession, to be forgiven and cleansed from all sin. He who covers his sin will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.