The Interactive Sermon Bumper Pt.2

Here’s what we did for week 2 of our “Crossroads” series at Sunnybrook. I’m a fan of the 1st alternate ending myself.

 

Dealing With The Average

average

Here are just a few things your average church goer DOES NOT DO:

-Serve every weekend

-Come to Sunday morning and Wednesday night services AND engage in a small group

-Discuss the weekend’s message around the dinner table

-Give 10%

-Spend daily time with God

-Understand what worship REALLY is

-Share their faith with those they can influence

So what do we do about it? Do we launch program after program trying to draw people in to the deeper part of the journey? Do we beg and plead from the stage about how badly God wants their all? Do we wrap everything in the slickest packaging we can muster and fire it off at the bullseye we’ve placed on peoples foreheads? Or…DO WE SET THE STANDARD?

Let’s be honest. Even though you may be in ministry full-time doesn’t mean you do all of the things listed above. How often does your quiet time get replaced by the busy work of ministry? How often do you check out during the message simply from brain fatigue? Do you REALLY talk about the message around the dinner table? Do you manage your finances well enough that 10% is even doable for you? I know I’ve struggled in a number of these areas and I suspect that the struggle will always be there.

Ministry is hard and often overwhelming, but if we can manage to prioritize what God is asking of us as Christ Followers over what our jobs requires of us we just might be able to be standard bearers to the people we have been called to serve…just a thought.

 

 

chchchchanges

bowie

I have a list of 5 people I’d like to see perform before I die…David Bowie is one of them…but that’s beside the point. This post is about CHANGE. Ahh yes…my favorite subject. I love change in the context of church life, because it’s an essential part of effective ministry, yet our ministries are centered around a God who NEVER changes. I don’t know about you, but I find that fascinating.

If God never changes, then why should we? If God is perfection, shouldn’t we strive to be just as perfectly unchanging as He is? There’s the key…God IS perfection…and we ARE NOT. Ministry must change and move at a constant in order to effectively and consistently engage an imperfect and shifting culture. Churches are dying by the thousands in an attempt to hold on to an unchanging philosophy. Communities are looking everywhere BUT the church to find hope and real answers in troubling times. God hasn’t changed. His love, mercy, compassion and heart for His people is as intense and alive as ever, the problem is, the church hasn’t changed much either.

I came to Christ in 1980 because of a week at camp where God became real to me. I had a counselor who invested consistent one on one time with me over the week. He told me about God in a way that made sense to a 10 year old boy. He didn’t speak “christianese” or lay down a bunch of legalistic rules and regulations. He didn’t make me take communion, or memorize 100 verses or sit through a years worth of flannel-graph driven Sunday school classes. He simply formed a relationship, molded his approach and shared how God had changed his life. If I had been a 20 year old, He would have approached things differently, but I wasn’t. I was just a kid. A kid who needed Jesus and He made sure I could understand that.

It seems so simple doesn’t it? If the church could change from religion to relationships…from rules to relevancy…from Christianese to real language, amazing things would happen. There are so many churches that are doing just that and hitting it out of the park right now. Lives are being transformed all over the planet, but there are many more that are continuing to swing and miss over and over again. I have a hard time believing that God designed His church to be so small minded.

Maybe that’s the problem right there. When the church is run by our thinking, vision, strategy and purpose, it lives and dies with us. Think what would happen if God’s church as a whole got over itself. Now THAT would be a change!

FAQ Pt.1 – Do You Believe the Bible is Reliable?

We’re in the middle of a great series @ Sunnybrook called “FAQ”– We had the congregation text in questions about God, the bible, life or anything else that came to mind and are spending the next few weeks tackling some of those questions. We hit the streets of Siouxland with the first question: “Do You Believe the Bible is Reliable” – Check it out…

10 Things I’m Convinced Are True

10

Straight talk is better than beating around the bush.

Ministries falter when they become more concerned with popularity than their God given mission.

Insisting on having all original ideas is a pride issue. There’s a wealth of knowledge out there…use it!

Creativity is a gift from a creative God. Leveraging that creativity for the gospel is putting the arm of God in motion.

God doesn’t give fuzzy vision. If you’re not clear where God is leading your organization, you’re probably missing the obvious.

Offering anything but our all is short changing God.

Striving towards your God given vision is going to make some people unhappy…count on it!

People will disappoint you…and you will disappoint people.

If you don’t care about what’s happening outside the 4 walls of your church, I can promise you…you’re missing the call of God.

You can’t lose momentum if you’re striving passionately towards the vision.

What If…

what if

Can you imagine what would happen if the church woke up to its God given calling to worship? What if the church as a whole sought to worship God every moment of every day? What if we looked to glorify Him in every conversation, every circumstance and every nuance of our lives? What if the church quit being about itself and started being about the worth of God? What if the very fabric of who we are was lined with praises, held together by adoration and worn as an expression of the greatness of God? What if the world could see the majesty of God through the way His people honor Him? What if people could actually come in off the street and feel the tangible presence of God through the praises of His people?

What if we lived out what we were created for in the first place?

Knock It Off!

stop

Are you trying to please everyone? Are you trying to create worship environments that yield absolutely NO complaints from anyone within a 100 mile radius? Are you trying to hit every style, taste,  look and sound possible week in and week out? Are you trying to avoid the dreaded comment card (that generally isn’t very complimentary) with your name on it? – Well…KNOCK IT OFF!

Ministry isn’t about keeping everyone happy all the time. It’s about striving towards the vision that God has laid out for your organization. Ministry isn’t about catering to the court of public opinion…it’s about meeting the needs of the community God has placed on your heart. Ministry isn’t about making half hearted decisions in an effort to keep people off your back, it’s about making gutsy calls and difficult choices that line up with the will of God…even if there may be “fall out” to deal with down the road.

When God called you into ministry, He NEVER promised it would be easy. He NEVER promised there wouldn’t be struggles…and He NEVER promised that everything He asks of you would be “popular” with the people you are called to serve. Ministry is a challenging and often difficult journey, that isn’t for the faint of heart. If you find yourself making decisions based on a “popularity meter”, you’re missing the whole point of what God has called you to do. The bible is filled with story after story of people who became “unpopular” for the cause of Christ…and we are certainly called to do no less when it is asked of us.