Pepperdine – It’s Friday!

There is so much to share.  From the opening night through yesterday I haven’t heard a discouraging remark.  Last night Randy Harris delivered a heart stirring message.  It reminded me of more than thirty years ago at IBC aka Heritage Christian University in Florence Alabama when the emphasis at the workshop there was always on evangelism.  Randy ended with the question, “Who will take the message to the one who is praying as Cornelius was praying?”  He had prefaced the question with the thought that it wasn’t really about the issues we sometimes think it’s about.  It is really about sharing the message of the cross.  Thanks Randy! You are dead on right! 

This week is always one of  the highlights of my year.  As a preacher I need this week.  This one has been no different.  I have come away with so many nuggets of truth.  We need the encouragement, the fellowship and the knowing that there are others who face the same struggles, the same fights and the same values.  To Jerry Rushford and all those who make efforts like this possible throughout the world may I shout a heartfelt THANK YOU!!

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Pepperdine – Day Two

Day two was even better than day one.  There was simply more to hear.  Shon did a great job starting things off but Wednesday there was so much to hear.  The theme this year is the book of Acts revisited.  All of the speakers I have heard have done a wonderful job.  There is something for everyone.  Robbi enjoyed the  McCoy Family Singers.  I particularly enjoyed Gary Selby as he spoke on “be filled-Unwrapping the Gift of the Holy Spirit” .  Jonothan Storment gave the keynote last night.  He blessed us with a powerful presentation from God’s Word.  The singing has been awesome as always.  Today promises to be exciting and inspiring as well.  What a day!  As a preacher it is always good to be able to  hear others preach the message.  I wish all you were here!

Pepperdine “The First Night”

Shon Smith started things off tonight by bringing a great lesson. Shon is the pulpit minister for the University Church of Christ in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.   I look forward to the rest of the week.  There is something about 5 or 6,000 Christians gathered together singing God’s praises then hearing God’s Word preached that just can’t be equaled!   Thanks Shon!  What a week this is going to be!

Wow!

Monday evening I preached in the lectureship held by the Apache Junction Church of Christ.  I really enjoyed the evening.  There is nothing like preaching for a church who enjoys preaching Christ with a passion for truth.  This was a terrific evening.  I can’t remember when I have had a more enjoyable time preaching Jesus than this past Monday night.  To those at Apache Junction responsible for the invitation, many thanks!!

A Day In The Life of Today’s Preacher – Would Paul Recognize it?

Today was a typical Sunday in my life.   My time on Sunday Mornings is busy.  I got up about 6:30 to begin my day.   I began by  spending time in prayer.  Once dressed I ate breakfast and my day started for real.  Each Sunday morning is spent in much the same way.  I make sure my powerpoint presentation is ready.  I place it on a thumb drive and meet the projectionist at the church building so that my lesson can be put in the proper place for the morning worship presentation.  Once back home I spend the next hour reviewing my class and sermon. 

After arriving at the building at 9:15 I make sure I meet and greet as many people as I possibly can.  Once 9:30 comes I begin to teach my Sunday morning class.  After Bible class we begin our worship assembly.  Each Sunday morning I do my best to present a lesson that meets some practical need in the lives of the members of the congregation.  Our worship period usually ends about 11:45.

Today we had a congregational meal after our worship service.  By the time the meal was finished and we got home it was about 1:30.  At 2:00 I picked up the wife of one of our older members and took her to the hospital to visit her husband.  She is 92 and no longer drives. While she was visiting her husband I visited with others I knew who were in the hospital.  By the time I took her back to her assisted living home and returned to my house it was 4:15.  I spent the next hour in prayer and review of my lesson I was presenting to the group this evening.  I arrived about 5:45 for our evening assembly.  We spent the next hour together in fellowship and study.  During this time I presented a lesson to the group.  After we dismissed a few of us went to Chili’s and ate together.  I arrived home about 8:45 and begin to write down the events of the day.

This is a very typical Sunday in the life of this preacher.  As I was driving home tonight I was thinking, would Paul recognize this day as a typical Sunday if he were with us today?  I’m not sure.  I suspect that Paul might have centered his attention more on those who are outside our spiritual family.  Sometimes I wonder if our way of doing things is really the best way to preach Jesus to those who need to hear the message.  I’m not sure Paul would recognize what we did today as a typical Sunday in the life of a preacher.  What do you think?

What Is My Job as the Preacher?

I have had a number of request to post again an article I wrote earlier in the year.  Thanks for the request, I hope you enjoy.

In the past 30 years I have experienced much in my work as a preacher. I have preacher-colorbeen a problem solver, a counsellor, a teacher, a social worker, and shared in a thousand more responsibilities.  What is my job as a preacher?

Never forget our first responsibility is to preach the message of Jesus to those who  need to hear.  When working with the multiple personalities that exist in any local church it is easy to lose sight of this area of primary emphasis.  There is no excuse if we fail to preach Jesus.  Fellow preachers, the most important thing we do is share the message of the Christ.  Our initial responsibility is to share the good news of the Christ and the path that takes man from bondage in sin to freedom in Jesus. We must then provide instruction allowing Christians to lead a lifestyle that is in the likeness of Jesus. We do this from the pulpit, we do this in our daily lives.  We must be like Paul willing to preach “in season and out.”

Second, as a minister I must be willing to serve.  We must be willing to give of ourselves.  If our brothers and sisters in Christ are in need we as ministers must be willing meet their need.  This means we are on call 24/7.  In a perfect church the congregation would call the shepherds when they have a problem.  Unfortunately there aren’t many perfect churches.  As a result, when problems rear their ugly head preachers usually get the call.  Faithful preachers must be willing to serve the church, especially when the church  is in need.  This is the time we can make lasting differences in lives.

Third,  continue to study and grow.   It is easy to fall back on things we have already learned.  Preachers cannot allow themselves to stop growing.  Read widely, and read often. Read outside your area of comfort.   We must be willing to consider thoughts that are new to us.  When we reach the point we think we have it all figured out we are in deep trouble. Never allow your study to be done to defend doctrine.  Always study to seek truth.  We can’t allow ourselves to fall into this trap.  Never stop growing or studying.  The church deserves our best study scholarship.

Be willing to provide necessary leadership in the local church.  There will be times when the local preacher may find himself standing alone.  Don’t be afraid to stand when leadership is needed.  There are too many “yes men” in the church already.  You weren’t called so that you could “go along to get along.”  As preachers we represent the things of God.  This job isn’t a popularity contest.  There will be times when we must stand for right regardless of who stands against us.

Never forget who you are.  You are God’s man in the community, let God use you.  We are here to preach the gospel.  Never allow yourself to become so timid about the things you say that you become afraid to preach truth.  It is true that  we owe a degree of allegiance to the brethren.  This doesn’t change the fact that we owe our lives and souls to God.  Guard against the temptation to hold the party line in order to please brethren.  You belong to the Lord. You are God’s man in the community.  Let God use you and never forget the one you have been called to serve.  Fellow servants, we are preachers of the gospel.  Never forget God only had one Son and He chose that He should be a preacher.  If this is your call, do it and do it well!

A Statement of Purpose

My work as a minister of the gospel is to help bring individuals into a loving relationship with the Lord through obedience of the Gospel.  My intent is to help those individuals continue to build that relationship as they live their lives on earth.

It is my constant desire to build up the body of Christ.  A primary direction will be preaching a positive message that allows the local church to be excited about who they are and the mission they hold.  I stress the need for our reliance on the Spirit who dwells in the heart of each and every Christian.
 
We continue to be Christians under construction as the Spirit molds us.  Romans 8:29 allows us insight into the direction God holds for those who are His followers.  God has predestined Christians to be conformed to the likeness of His son.  As a minister part of my responsibility is to nurture this transformation through timely and appropriate preaching.
 
In order that the local church function properly each Christian must find his or her place in the body.  Each must use the talents God has given them.  As a church matures the Christians who make up that body also grow.  A mature congregation finds room for all those who worship and work with her.  As a preacher I encourage the participation of all members in that body.

The lifeblood of any church is her ability to reproduce.  Unless a church is evangelizing that church is dying.  Before any church will evangelize its members must be excited about who they are.  Without this excitement we will be nothing more than a loose knit group whose main purpose is self-seeking.  Through positive motivational preaching bound together with the right example and direction churches can be vibrant and growing.  My intent is to build just such a congregation filled with Christians who are willing ambassadors for our Lord and Master.