Constant exhaustion is how we often feel. Whether we’re in the hustle and bustle of a big city or the Wendell Berry landscapes of a country farm, the to-do lists that accumulate often bombard us with waves of anxiety. We get unsettled by all the appointments and deadlines we can’t quite make. Our wants get scrambled up with our needs and it’s not always clear how to not only relax, but live in the chaos with a simple and real peace. How do we authentically preach patience in such an impatient, wound-up world? Here are 10 suggestions you might consider. It may be fodder for a single 10-point sermon or perhaps beginning threads for a sermon series on patience.
John Wesley famously said, “Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth.” Born in England on June 28, 1703, John would go on to reform the Anglican church from within, fathering a movement called Methodism.
In the last post (Audio Recording Essentials – Part 1), we asked some important questions, such as: “What are you recording?” and “Why are you recording?” We discussed that the tools required for one application may be completely different for another. We also looked at some various audio recording devices and formats that would work well for basic recording applications. We determined that SD/SDHC/SDXC cards are a very popular format to record to and used in many other devices, as well: cameras, computers, displays, etc. Now let’s talk about digital mixers for audio recording as well as some audio editing tips and tricks!
From the cross, Jesus doesn’t say much, only about 60 words in seven statements. With the parables said, the healings performed, the warnings pronounced, the endless walking done, Jesus is now perched on a cross for all people to interpret. Similar to Moses’ raised pole in Numbers 21:4-9, where anyone who stopped and really looked avoided death, Jesus is raised up. Do we see him? Are we inviting our congregations into a fuller understanding of what happened and why?
Sharefaith church websites is getting an upgrade that all website users are going to love! Our goal is to continue to make powerful, easy to use church websites while creating awesome technology that points to Jesus and helps you spread the Gospel in your communities. In this latest church website update, we are introducing three NEW features that we know you are going to love! (more…)
I spend most of my week talking with pastors. Though advent is a busy season for their ministries, I’ve been surprised to hear over the years that Easter might be an even busier time for them.
Palm branches and Easter lilies need to be ordered. Children’s choirs and orchestra pieces need to be arranged and practiced. “Visit Us” mailers are designed and distributed, while inviting road signage is drawn up and displayed. Finally, don’t forget the meticulous planning that is required to create a memorable and meaningful Good Friday service.
No doubt the death of Jesus puts disciples into crisis mode. They don’t understand what Jesus plainly tells them, “I’ll suffer and die and raise from the dead three days later.” They don’t even understand when the tomb is empty and the women come back and exclaim the news. Perhaps they first believe the rumor that circulates quickly: someone has stolen away Jesus’ body. Perhaps that’s why they lock the upper room door behind them and sit together, frightened. Not for long. The truth of the resurrection comes flooding in with multiple encounters with Jesus. He shows them his crucifixion scars and eats dinner just like before… but it isn’t like before. Something new is beginning to transpire.
I still recall the smell of new carpet in our first brand new home. This was our first truly big ministry post as a worship pastor and felt much like moving into that new house with fresh paint and a tiny tree in the front yard. Our new church family filled our pantry, and for the years we served continued such hospitality. Everyone should get a honeymoon, and as with honeymoons, they are short-lived.
You would think with exponential growth that one would be in an ideal job situation in worship. But truth be told, fast pace of change brings chaos, and with that, challenges. You see, not long before I came on staff, this church opened a brand new sanctuary for worship. This humble group, used to fluorescent fixtures, exploded to a building with multiple catwalks and a balcony. The scale changed everything. Now, this young guy from the west coast arrives and even more change is put upon this bustling and growing church. So many mixed emotions exist in a fast-growing church. It is hard to keep up with the work, let alone one’s own reaction!
We all feel this as workers in the local church. The big service ends and the next Sunday it feels as if the oxygen levels in the church building are below half of usual. It has a name, this after-event nemesis: The Easter Wall. You have just put on one of the biggest events of the year. Easter–as well as Christmas–draw our largest crowds of people. After we indulge in that huge after-Easter nap, celebrate our team’s best foot forward, and warm from the afterglow of good vibes the normal time of year confronts us like a cinderblock wall at 30 miles per hour. We all have to go through the emotional and physical limitations of putting on our version of Super Bowl each Spring. We don’t regret it, no matter how tired we feel or how deep extra expenditures softened our budgets. The resurrection of our Lord deserves to be celebrated with as much splendor as we can muster. As the Psalmist sings, “Make his praise glorious!” Now that we had a great time, let’s get through the rest of the year.
Easter comes along every year. It’s the basis of our faith, but if we’re not intentional, the celebration can become tired and altogether expected. Some of it should be. Longstanding liturgy or a traditional form of ceremony is a significant way to invite us into the work and wonder of God. For example, many keep the tradition of a passion play or a Good Friday service called Tenebrae which is Latin for shadows. However, in an effort to continue to share the story with fresh eyes, sometimes tying details together or linking moments to other parts of Scripture can help. In that vein, here are 12 significant death and resurrection details that have the potential to preach.