I’m only preaching once this summer at my church. . . I’ve had that a few people are a little worried about me. Here’s a few things that I’ve heard (wink): Are you taking a preaching sabbatical? Are you taking early retirement? Are you taking a 3 month vacation? Are you crazy? Is your marriage in crisis? Are you fleeing the country? Are you spending all summer training for the Care Group Leader Basketball Tournament? I can safely answer “no” to all of the above questions, although I am training for the basketball tournament and I am a bit crazy. But, the truth is, I am only preaching once this summer. Here’s why:
1. I desperately want our church to be built on the Word of God, not on me. So, whenever I have opportunity to let other brothers use their gifts, I want to. I am blessed with several other men who are gifted to preach. I understand that my gift set is not sufficient for our church. Thus we have a plurality of elders who shepherd the flock of God with me. They are stronger than me in MANY areas. They fill in where my gifts lack. Also the other brothers who preach and teach are different than I am–different personalities, different skin colors, different senses of humor (not necessarily better:) and different preaching styles. This variety serves the body well. The Word never changes, even though the preacher might. As Spurgeon said, Wesley and Whitefield might preach the gospel better than I can, but they cannot preach a better gospel!
2. There are several leadership/vision/direction/housekeeping needs at our church that need to be addressed. So, the main reason that I’m writing this post is to let you know how to pray for me this summer. . . and to let some folks know that I won’t be playing video games all summer and sitting by the pool Many of my goals are more personal and church specific, so I won’t be sharing those. . . but most are not. So, here are my goals for this summer:
*Spend time reflecting on and refining my God-given roles in life as a follower of Jesus, a husband to Alicia, a father to Caraline, Brayton, Caleb and Adelyn, and as the pastor of Baptist Church of the Redeemer.
*Plan and Prepare Messages for Redeemer’s Family Camp in August.
*Plan the next year of sermons through the Gospel of Mark.
*Work on Care Group application questions from the book of Mark for the fall.
*Organize and Launch 3 new Care Groups by the fall.
*Schedule and Plan Redeemer Institutes for the fall and spring.
*Prepare to Launch Redeemer’s Parent/Youth Ministry in the fall.
*READ, READ, READ: The Gospel of Mark (over and over). . . and other books on my summer reading list.
*Work on finishing up a writing project.
*Rewrite/Update our Starting Point Material (new members class)
I really would appreciate your prayers for me this summer, and for the brothers who will be preaching through the book of Proverbs (2-7) in July and August. May God move in a powerful and mysterious way and prosper His Word among us!!