Maybe once a year or every other year, I am invited to preach at our church.
We have a fantastic senior minister who preaches most Sundays. His sermons and preaching style have helped draw so many people to our congregation. I'd like to think that the children's ministry that I led here for 7 years was a huge factor in our church's impact in our community as well. Also we have a giant coffee-maker. So without specific research analysis, we may never know the true cause of our growth.
Anyway, on occasions, like this Sunday, I am permitted to preach. If word gets out about this fact, it is likely that 40% of those aged 65 and older will stay home and watch someone else preach on t.v. After all, I'm not a real preacher...as evidenced by collection of 2 ties. Unless there's a casket in front of the pulpit Sunday morning (occasion for tie #1) or a bride decked out in 8,000 yards of silk, organza, taffita or whatever the kids are wearing these days (occasion for tie #2), I'm likely to go tie-less on Sunday. However, I know that I serve a mighty and miraculous God, so I'm sure that if he would wish me to wear a tie, he has wind, lightning, clouds, and a variety of other things at his disposal to deliver that message to me.
Well, my message Sunday isn't really going to be mine. There are so many people in our church who have served on the mission field and served in ministries in our community, that I'm letting their words be a big part of the message this week. They've been in the trenches. They've been sacrificing. They've been giving and praying and serving and losing sleep and risking their lives over and over and over.
So I'm hoping that by sharing their stories and their testimonials about God changing their hearts and lives, others will be drawn to go and do likewise.
I'd love it if 3,000 people got the message and all stood up and vacated the building before I was even done because they were so ready to get out of their pews and go do something and I was just wasting their time by still talking.
O.K. truth be told, that would probably hurt my feelings. But I can tell myself that if anyone gets up and leaves early it's because of the inspiring message.
But then they'll miss the surprise I've saved for the very end. I won't give it away yet, but it may involve an original piece of music written by a little fellow who was just baptized with his mom at our church last month. I'll tell more about that later.
I don't want to ruin the surprise for those of you who go to our church, but bring a spoon or fork because you'll just want to eat Cody up or sop him up with a dinner roll.