Mostly Ministry

22
Aug

Finding Your Preaching Voice?

Finding Your Preaching Voice

Last week I listened to the Annual Preaching Seminar presented by The Rocket Company you can find them on Twitter at #preachbettersermons.  Every year is a time of inspiration and learning and this year was no different.  One of the teachings that struck me was about finding your preaching voice. I’ve reproduced the notes here with some comments and links that I hope you will find helpful.

 

Finding Your Preaching Voice

The Teacher

The strength of the teacher is content.

The weakness of the teacher is connection.

For the teacher, the why is important.

Answer this question for your audience”  Why is this content important?

The days of “Last week we were in Luke 2:5-7, now let’s open our Bibles to Luke 2:7-11 which is our text today.” are over.  The teacher assumes that the audience is as passionate about the material as they are.  In order to get the opportunity to share your great content you need to capture the attention of your audience. Here are 18 tips on grabbing attention.

The Motivator

The strength of the motivator is connection.

The weakness of the motivator is procrastination.

For the motivator the what is important.

Answer this question for your audience: What do I want them to do?

For the motivator the first part of the message is easy because they are great at connecting with the audience.  However, they need to do more than just engage and entertain.  They need to give their motivation some “legs” you can’t leave them hanging at the end of your message with just a good feeling.  Having trouble when it comes to applying your message?  Check out this Sermon Application Grid 

The Storyteller

The strength of the storyteller is engaging the audience.

The weakness of the storyteller is where.

Answer this for your audience: Where am I taking this audience?

The temptation of the storyteller can be to fill up the message with stories that do not propel the message forward.  Every story needs to take the ball further down the field.  If you have trouble with illustrations here is some help from H.B. Charles Jr.

The  Visionary

The strength of the visionary is purpose.

The weakness of the visionary is how.

Answer this question for your audience: How exactly are we going to change the world?

The visionary is similar to the motivator.  Martin Luther Jr. was a visionary, a person who had the purpose of changing  society and he had a plan to go with his purpose.  Having trouble with applying your sermon?  Here’s help Learning The Art of Sermon Application

The end of the session struck me and really helped explain why some preaching/speaking events falls short for no apparent reason.  Just as there are different preaching voices, there are different preaching/speaking environments: teaching, motivating and  storytelling.  Each environment has a different purpose and if our voice doesn’t match the environment then there will be a disconnect.  Bringing a teaching voice to a motivating environment is a mismatch that will be felt by speaker and audience.  Therefore, when asked to speak  be sure to understand the purpose of the event and adjust your message to suit it is appropriately.

What’s your primary voice?  Mine is storytelling.  Whatever your voice, accept it and develop it.  But don’t forget that there will be people in your audience who will relate to the other voices.  Therefore, adding some of those elements will enhance the impact of your message.

Originally posted 2016-01-21 07:21:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

22
Aug

Jesus Crafted Memorable Sayings And You Should Too

Jesus Crafted Memorable Sayings

They say that, “Variety is the spice of life” and this is especially true of  preaching.  It’s very easy to get into a routine (think rut) with our preaching and miss the impact that variety can have on our audience and also on us in our preparation.  I read a  Thom Rainer awhile back called ” 6 Preaching Methods Jesus Used and You Should Too” and I thought I would share each element with you and add resources that will help drive each point home

 

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“If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” Johnnie Cochran

 

3. Jesus Crafted Memorable Sayings

“Jesus spoke poetically. He often used catchy sayings and plays on words. This isn’t always apparent in English translations. However, in the original language, Jesus made it much easier for his listeners to remember what he said. For example, Jesus memorably said, “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you.” (Luke 6:37-38a, ESV).

Another great example is the Golden Rule (Luke 6:31). If you want to preach like Jesus, craft memorable statements. Make the main point easy to remember. If your people remember the message, they will be able to take it with them wherever they go.

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“It takes a village to raise a child.”

How do I go about looking for the “Big Idea” in a text?

Kenton Anderson says your “Big Idea” must match the big idea of the text.

ProPreacher says he Big Idea sets the framework – the direction of your message.

Ok, now that I have the “Big Idea” what tips are there to make it memorable?

How about thinking of your “Big Idea” like a headline or blog post?

Here’s a formula from Jeff Goins  Number or Trigger word + Adjective + Keyword + Promise

Here’s to better preaching.

Related Posts:

Jesus Told Stories When He Preached And You Should Too

Jesus Shocked People When He Preached And You Should Too

 

Photo credit: drestwn / Foter / CC BY

 

 

Originally posted 2015-03-17 20:52:40. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

22
Aug

18 Do’s and Don’ts For Family Members And Friends of A Depressed Person

 

18 Do's and Dont's For Family and Friends Of A Depressed Person.

A couple of weeks ago, I asked our congregation to raise their hands if they or someone close to them have been affected by cancer. Obviously, hands went up all over the church.  Then I said, “If I asked have you or someone close to you been affected by mental illness, you would be surprised how many hands would also go up.” Here in Canada we have Bell Let’s Talk Day which is a National Campaign on Mental Health Issues and has been very effective in bringing this challenge to the national consciousness. Stats say, 20% of Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime. The personal cost can be devastating and the economic cost is in the billions. Continue reading…

Originally posted 2016-07-04 04:08:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

22
Aug

How To Pray Before You Preach

How To Pray Before You Preach

For many years I have seen articles by H.B. Charles Jr. and always enjoyed his insights.  However, the other day I dug a bit deeper and came across his podcast and have really found it enjoyable and very practical.  This post is from his podcast  “What I Pray When I Preach”.  I have added to his outline with some of my own thoughts.

 

How To Pray

What I Pray When I Preach:

1) Faithfulness  –Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” (2 Tim 4:2)

The content of preaching is what makes it Christian preaching.  There are many “talks” that come across pulpits that are mostly “motivational speaking” with an odd Scripture thrown in for good measure.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

2) Clarity – “Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,  for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” (Ephesians 6:19-20)

If there is a mist in the pulpit there will be a fog in the pew.  Some people like the fog in fact those people have a holy term for the fog, “deep preaching”.  I just call it confusion.  Charles had a great line to sum up this point, “The old timers nod and  affirm the truth you have preached and the new comers understand the truth.”

3) Authority “…built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.” (Ephesians 2:20)

A speaker can learn many techniques to engage, move and connect with an audience.  In fact as Ministers we bring a certain amount of credibility into the pulpit but techniques and credibility are only valuable if we are standing on the authority of the Word.

“And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13)

4) Passion “For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16)

Pray for the heat, if you have no passion for the message then you’re not ready to preach it.  Every message needs heat and light, both are important.  Don’t sound like a reporter reading from a teleprompter, you are not a paid spokesperson but a satisfied customer of the Gospel.  Preaching on hell sound bring a tear to your eye and preaching on heaven should bring a smile.

Passion = “Logic on fire.” (Martin Lloyd Jones)

5) Wisdom He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.”  (Colossians 1:28)

In a world of “relative truth” we need more wisdom than ever before when it comes to moving people into Christian maturity.  Wisdom in knowing the season our church is in and knowing the mood of our people.  Wisdom in being Biblical, relevant and practical all at the same time.  Finally, we need wisdom to filter out the noise of life and hear the Spirit first.

“It is possible for the preacher to speak the message, use up a portion of time, give an altar call, and still not accomplish the intended purpose of the sermon.”

6) Humility – “For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” (2 Corinthians 4:5)

When you consider the above 5 items humility should automatically ensue.  All the techniques in the world are not as attractive as the power of humility.  John the Baptist had power because he had the right attitude.  “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” (John 3:30)

“The person who get to big for his britches will eventually be exposed in the end.”

7) Liberty “Take the brakes of me” can’t say what it is but you know when it’s not there.

 

How about you? What do you pray before you preach?  Leave a comment and let’s learn together.

 

_Turn my eyes from worthless things, and

 

Originally posted 2015-06-10 03:50:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

22
Aug

3 Signs You Might Be In Spiritual Drift

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We were with our friends Jay and Carol and we had made the trip from Charlotte, North Carolina to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  It was our first trip there and it was awesome.  I grew up by the water, but the water in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada never, came close to the warmth of Myrtle:)

So in we went,  jumping as high as we could to avoid getting splatted.  Wheezing and coughing as our mouths and eyes filled with salt water.  It was great!!

After 20 – 30 minutes we took stock of where we were and realized that the shore didn’t look familiar at all.  We had drifted.  Now you expect to drift a bit but we were way down the shore.  By the time we got out and walked back I was actually winded.

Here’s the thing about drifting

  • Drifting requires no effort..
  • It is an unconscious process…
  • You don’t drift against the tide…
  • It can take you away from what’s important…

 

Our spiritual lives are no different.  The writer of Hebrews gives a warning that is still relevant all these years later.

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For a moment let’s consider 3 ways we can drift from God when times are tough.

Warning #1 – You start to DISTORT the PAST

The children of Israel had been rescued from Egyptian bondage and were on their way to the Promise Land.   But their disobedience caused the journey take much longer than first imagined.  So they started to complain.

“ … remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. (Numbers 11:5)

Really?  Funny how tough times can make our past look better than it actually was. The reason why their food had no cost was because they were SLAVES!!!

“Years passed, and the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites continued to groan under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God.”  (Exodus 2:23)

If you stepped back for a moment and were realistic are you distorting the past?  It may be s sign of Spiritual Drift.

Warning #2 – You MISS What GOD Is DOING In The PRESENT

When you read the text in Exodus at times it seems as if the Children of Israel are in the middle of the wilderness all by themselves.  But nothing is further from the truth.  God was in the midst of them in the middle of the camp.  They were guided by a cloud by day and a fire by night.  This was the Old Testament version of our GPS.

“The cloud of the Lord hovered over the Tabernacle during the day, and at night fire glowed inside the cloud so the whole family of Israel could see it. This continued throughout all their journeys.” (Exodus 40:38)

The front of every tent opened towards the middle of the camp and the presence of God.  So every morning when they opened their tent door they saw the Tent of Meeting with the cloud reminding you of the presence of God. At night as they went to bed they could see the fire representing the presence of God.

Yet, while they complaining about having no water, no food.  While they complained about the leadership of Moses and Aaron and that God had left them.  God’s  presence was always in their midst.

Are you complaining about your future why missing what God is doing in your present life? It may be a sign of Spiritual Drift

Warning #3 – You Forget who Saved  you.

You may know the story about Moses climbing up the mountain to receive the 10 Commandments.  He was gone so long the people thought he wasn’t coming back and they went wild and I mean wild.  Then we read this verse.

All the people took the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, “O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!” (Exodus 32:3-4)

Really?

The idol you made with your own hands freed you from slavery?

Was the idol with you when you crossed the Red Sea?

Was the idol with you when water came out of a rock?

Are you beginning to take for granted what Jesus did for you?  Is the message of the cross holding less significance in your life?  It may be a sign of Spiritual Drift.

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Are you going through a difficult time right now?  Take a moment and step back and ask yourself.

Am I making the past out to be much better than it’s reality?

Am I so focused on my trouble that I am missing what God is doing in my life right now?

Am I devaluing what God has done for me through Jesus?

 

What should I do?

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Start Rowing

  • Get your devotional life back on track
  • Get involved in a church ministry
  • Get involved in a small group and stretch yourself

 

 

 

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Originally posted 2015-09-09 11:41:40. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

22
Aug

I Don’t Like To Talk About Money But I Did Anyway

I Don’t Like Talking About Money But I Did Anyway

At our recent Ministry Report and Annual Business Meeting I took the opportunity to talk about factors that affect the giving in church life.   I wanted to encourage those who give on a regular basis and challenge those who call our church home but are not participating financially.  For many people talking about money gets their back up right away which is why I started with the disclaimer you will see in a moment.   After the service I sent out this talk to our email list as you can see from the following greeting. (I have left out items specific to our church.)

I Don't Like To Talk About Money But I Did Anyway.

Hi Everyone,

For those of you who missed our service on Sunday I wanted to send you my talk on finances. I gave it just before we looked at our giving from last year and the budget for this year. In some ways this is a risk because without being there the following can come across as stale and maybe judgmental which is not the purpose of the talk or the way it was presented. However, I thought it was important to give the people on Sunday and you also the opportunity to see some the behind the scenes factors of church financial life. That way we can all be on the same page in understanding the importance of our giving. So here you go:

Disclaimer

1574112409_d579ee7dc9_b   Speaking about money is challenging for a preacher so let me say from the beginning that I am not mad. Repeat this after me, “He’s not mad.” If you have been around TCC for any length of time then you know that we do not do “guilt” here because “guilt” is a very lousy motivator. However, conviction is a different thing all together, I don’t like when the Holy Spirit convicts me of something but still it’s good for me. So you may find this morning that you feel like you are getting your toes stepped but that’s not a bad thing and remember the motivation is not to make you feel guilty.

The excesses of Televangelists make it difficult to speak about money. When a preacher is looking for 65 million dollars to buy a jet that puts people off from the topic of giving.   However, it is my responsibility to teach about money because I am charged with bringing you the Whole Counsel of God, which includes finances. In fact, 1 in every 11 verses in the Gospels is about money, possessions, etc., and there are around 2500 verses on the topic in all of Scripture.   With that in mind let’s consider our situation at TCC.

Factors Affecting Finances

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People Changes

In any year 10% of a congregation may leave, move or pass away.   A few good givers or tithers leaving for whatever reason can greatly affect the finances of a local church.  Of course, new people coming who are strong givers can bring things even.  However, if a church is doing a good job of reaching new people just because the place is filling up does not mean there is a direct correlation to increased finances.

Employment Changes

Within any year church family members will face job loss, job changes and those on commission may have a year of plenty or a year of famine. Just as family finances are affected by such changes the financial situation of a church is also affected. In difficult times people often stop giving to the church first before they would consider cutting back in other areas.

Attendance

In years past when there were fewer distractions on a Sunday, church was a destination now Sunday service is a drive thru. A generation ago you only missed church when you were sick or on vacation and even then you made up your giving when you were in church the next Sunday.   Our world is different and now people who attend maybe 2-3 times a month would say they feel deeply connected to their church. The challenge of today is that some people only give when they are in the building.

Let’s say you give $50 a week:

A generation ago

$50 x 52= $2600

Today at 3 times a month

$50 x 36 = $1800

Today at 2 times a month

$50 x 26 = $1300

As you can see the change in attendance patterns has the opportunity to greatly affect the overall church giving.

Tithe

Tithing is more of a challenge today than it has ever been.

The average giving of a church attender is 2-3%. On $50,000, 3% is $1500, which is a large amount of hard earned cash. However to put things into perspective in 2003 the average Canadian spent $1,473 on fast food. So 3 percent is really like McDonald’s money for the church. A higher salary giving the same percentage would be like Swiss Chalet (Canadian Chicken Chain) money.

So those are some of the factors affecting TCC and every church when it comes to finances.

 

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Here is a 3-fold Approach To Encourage More Giving At TCC

1) Education

At times churches are guilty of not helping congregation members understand the factors affecting finances and this talk aims to correct that error.

We will be sending out a quarterly giving report in the near future which will give you a year-to-date for  2015 and our total giving for the first quarter compared to our budget.

We will also continue to offer courses like Dave Ramsay’s “Life, Money and Legacy” like we did for 5 weeks at the Community Centre.

2) Encouragement

On Sundays, we will continue to encourage you with Scripture and stories. We will also give instructions on how to give through e-transfer. Many of our congregation now give online. In fact, one member checks his bank account on payday and sends his transfer before he gets out of bed:)  We even have a couple of people who do not attend TCC but give to support what God is doing here. Which is amazing.

We will encourage you to tithe. I grew up with the idea of tithing so for me there has never been a mental jump to take. When I was going to school in Thunder Bay, I worked in a Roller Rink every Saturday night and got paid $20. Even though we went out to eat after 4 hours of skating I still had my $2 for the offering on Sunday morning. It was never a question because it was what I always did.

I understand that the idea of giving 10% can be challenge indeed, in fact you may say, “You will never get me to tithe.” That’s fine but let me ask you, “Are you satisfied with your giving right now?” If not, here is a consideration for you. Say you are giving 2% and you say really that’s McDonald’s money and we can do better than that but how? Next month move from 2% to 3% with a few adjustments you will hardly notice the difference. A few less meals at a drive thru and away you go. The next month move up 1% more and see what happens. You may hit level where it gets very tough at that point stay consistent at the percentage until the financial adjustments work their way through and continue to give a little more.

3) Extras

We are planning a couple of special offerings this year. Like the extra offering coming up on Mother’s Day to raise the $1000 it costs to rent the Community Centre for our Community Seminars. We will also be planning a couple of fundraisers throughout the year.

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7051574059_821d9f47a5_kLet me close with this thought. We have a sponsor child through Plan and many of you do too through Plan, Compassion, World Vision or Save The Children.  When we sign on we take our responsibility seriously. We would not think, “I’ll only give when I see their picture on the fridge.” or “I’m gone for half the summer so I’ll just give in July but not in August.”  We would think that is certainly not proper but yet for many people that thought pattern does not transfer over to the local church.

Think about this, every Sunday you have the opportunity to participate in worship that brings you into the Presence of God,hopefully you  hear decent Bible teaching:)  and your kids are educated Biblically. We will pray and visit you when you’re sick, marry you, dedicate your children, provide opportunity for you to be involved in ministry such as feeding 2500 people like we did last year, finally we will bury you all for whatever you choose to give. Not too many places offer a deal like that.  Of course, receiving ministry should never have a dollar sign attached but my point is; considering what is given to you investing so more people can receive seems like a reasonable request.

On Sunday. one of the people I interviewed talked about the Dave Ramsay course and said that he was reminded again that all we have belongs to God and that was a turning point in his giving. Often times we don’t see money as a spiritual issue but it truly is.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.
The world and all its people belong to him. (Psalm 24:1)

But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us! (1 Chronicles 29:14)

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.  Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. (Matthew 6:19-21)

Since all we have belongs to God in the first place I think we all need to take some time and reflect on our giving. Does our giving show the attitude of an owner or a steward? Are we giving McDonald’s money, Swiss Chalet money or truly investing in the Kingdom?

 “A steward manages assets for the owner’s benefit.  The steward carries no sense of entitlement to the assets he manages.  It’s his job to find out what the owner wants done with his assets, then carry out his will.” (Randy Alcorn)

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I hope this has been helpful to you.  Maybe you can use it as a framework for you own talk on finances.

Blessings,

Peter

 

Photo credit: kenteegardin / Foter / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: Nanagyei / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: B Tal / Foter / CC BY-NC

Photo credit: Save the Children / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

 

Originally posted 2015-04-15 16:11:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

22
Aug

This Is What I Learned When Our Children’s Pastor Left

This Is What I Learned When Our Children's Pastor Left

 

It was a pastor’s dream come true. Our kids ministry was okay but struggling, and a former Kids Pastor stepped up and volunteered to lead the program. Praise The Lord!! I can’t tell you how excited I was. After years of a good kids ministry we were poised to go to a whole new level. We passed everything over to her and she ran with it. Our parents were happy, the kids were happy and we were happy. It was great. It felt like a beautiful day in paradise but then the storm clouds moved in.  Continue reading…

 

 

Originally posted 2016-05-04 07:00:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

22
Aug

18 Ways To Gain Attention As A Public Speaker

18 Ways To Gain Attention As A Public Speaker

Would you believe that you have a shorter attention span than a goldfish?

According to a Canadian survey by Microsoft those surveyed had an attention span of 8 seconds .  Whether it’s actually 8,9 or 10 seconds I think we would all agree that keeping the attention of any audience is certainly a challenge.

 

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Here are 18 suggestions to help you gain attention and get your message heard.  Hopefully, there will be something new here that you can add to your repertoire.

  1. Start with a question.23quoteattention
  2. Start with a rhetorical question.
  3. Start with a “show of hands” question.
  4. Start with a statement that gets attention.
  5. Start with a startling fact or stat.
  6. Start with a human need/strike a need.
  7. Use an object lesson.
  8. Play a video clip.5-socialmedia-distraction
  9. Add humour.
  10. Tell a story.
  11. Be yourself/be natural.
  12. Begin with a testimony.
  13. Use a prop.
  14. Start with a quote.
  15. Tell a personal story.
  16. Keep it brief.
  17. Place the text/topic in its context.
  18. Tell a joke only if it’s helpful to your topic and only if people actually laugh at your jokes.  If you’re the only one laughing that’s not a good sign.

 

The 18 techniques above are just that techniques (a method of accomplishing a desired aim).  The secret is to be real with your audience.  Your intro must be crafted for your audience instead of trying to make yourself look impressive.

In a post “Not About Me” Darryl Dash said, “The problem is that I began to focus on myself, rather than on the people to whom I’d speak. Instead of trying to serve and bless them, I was thinking about me.”

Can you relate?

Let’s be creative and authentic as we work to gain attention in a world full of noise but let’s make it about our message and not about us.

Do you have another item to add to our list?  Please leave it in the comment section.

 

Related Posts:

How to Make Your Sermon Introductions More Effective

More Than A Years Worth Of Sermon Ideas For You

 

 

Originally posted 2015-11-03 21:36:47. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

22
Aug

27/06/15 – 6 Links For 4 Day 6

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Charleston, S.C is one of my favourite places.  We visited there a couple of times and love the people, the scenery, and the history.  So when the story broke about the tragedy it hit home even more than this type of story usually would.  Here are three links regarding this story.

 

How Charleston’s Emmanuel AME Spent Sunday After Massacre

“A black cloth shrouded the seat behind the lectern, belonging to slain pastor and state senator Clementa Pinckney. In the choir, 87-year-old soprano Susie Jackson wasn’t there to take her usual front-row seat. The “Mother Emanuel Nine” and many of their family members were absent Sunday, the first time the church opened since the shooting.”

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The Deeper Story of Emanuel AME Church

“The history of Emanuel AME Church is long and linked with the struggle for civil rights in America. It has been shut down for teaching slaves to read and write, burned to the ground after a failed slave revolt in Charleston and forced underground during the Civil War.”

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Lecrae Op-Ed: Charleston Shooting Comes From Deeply Rooted Racism & Injustice

“…just came home from traveling abroad, and as I toured different countries, I found it interesting that some countries do not shy away from showing the ugliness of their history and leaders, while others tend to lionize their past and historical figures. I’d have to say, in my experience (and public school education), I have seen that Americans lean toward the latter. There tends to be a sweeping idealistic notion that our country was founded with Godly purity and Biblical principles.”

—————

I am not a late night talk show person at all but this commentary by   Jon Stewart   is quite something.

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Stop Explaining Away Black Christian Forgiveness

“Remember, forgiveness from victimized religious communities after a shooting is not new; the Amish community in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, won praise from religious and secular alike for their response to senseless, targeted violence. What is new is the idea—invoked regarding black Christians in Charleston, not white Amish in Pennsylvania—that forgiveness might stymie social progress and disturb the social order and should therefore be withheld, at least publicly. No one questioned whether the Amish forgiveness was the result of a mature faith and conscience. Yet when it comes to the black conscience, somehow obfuscation, critique, and rationalization are embraced as progressive.”

—————

Let’s end on a lighter note.

A few weeks back Shia LaBeouf  put out a motivational video that went viral.  However, I think this 3 year old’s version is much better.
Maybe you can use it at your next Staff Meeting.

 

Originally posted 2015-06-27 05:55:18. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

22
Aug

4 Helps For Christmas Planning

4 Helps For Christmas Planning

There are some who finished up their Christmas planning  just after Labour Day.  And then there are the rest of us who know Christmas is coming but it still sneaks up on us every year:)

This post is for those who fall in to category   #2.

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Here are 4 helps I hope will be of assistance to you as you plan for this Christmas.

1) Can you relate to this statement?

It’s December. Shoppers and worshipers alike greet each other: “Merry Christmas!” “Happy holidays!” Maybe even (on Sunday): “Peace and joy!”

Me? I find myself pulling out my hair and shouting, “What? I have to preach the Christmas story again?!” Not to others, of course. Certainly not to my parishioners. But inside I do. How can I pull off another Christmas sermon? Come Christmas, I don’t feel like preaching Matthew 1 or Luke 2. I feel like preaching Ecclesiastes 1:9: “There is nothing new under the sun”!

David Vroege from Halifax, gives some fresh approaches  for the coming Christmas season.

2) Looking for Christmas sermon inspiration?  Click here for messages by Stedman, Piper, Spurgeon and more.

3) I like free and by signing up to Ministry Pass they will send you a 7-page pdf of Christmas Illustrations

4) After you have put everything together ask yourself these 20 Questions from Brandon at ProPreacher before you step into the pulpit.

“May you be filled with the wonder of Mary, the obedience of Joseph, the joy of the angels, the eagerness of the shepherds, the determination of the magi, and the peace of the Christ child. Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit bless you now and forever.” (Ray Pritchard)

Here’s to a blessed Christmas.

Related Post:

The Reformed Holiday Gift Guide

Photo Credit: Photo credit: arbyreed / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

 

 

Originally posted 2015-11-18 06:34:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter