Sunday Debrief: I am Gifted (8/25/13)

Another Sunday, another funday.

Continuing in the Who am I? series, we hit the topic of giftedness–that each person in the body has some unique way in which he or she will be used by the Spirit to mature the body. Truth is, we all need each other and the various gifts in order to be the body that God designed us to be–and to grow into maturity as He desires.

I took a moment in the sermon to speak on the gift of prophecy and wanted to share with you one of my sources.  

What Is Prophecy in the New Covenant? from Desiring God on Vimeo.

(Now, I gotta be honest, sometimes I picture these gifts like Christmas gifts. I shouldn’t, and definitely do not encourage you to. I’m not sure why that is, other than the fact that people usually get the most gifts at Christmas time. This, of course, makes the Holy Spirit like Santa Claus and Santa Claus judges us based on whether or not we are bad and good so I think the whole thought should just be thrown out.)

There’s much to consider when we think about the gifts, but a few things are true. . .

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Sunday Debrief: I am a Member (8/18/13) (or, The Show Goes On)

It happened again. Another Sunday where I realized how unneeded I was (there are many). As you may (or may not) know, Courtney delivered Abram Alexander on Monday. Now, I’m one for preaching every Sunday I’m given, so I asked Courtney if she’d let me preach the Sunday after his delivery. She said “yes” (it was almost as exciting as the day we got engaged). I let the big dawg know (who some call Kevin McKee), and he kindly suggested I take that Sunday off.

I fought it at first, then thought it might be good to remind myself how I’m not in this thing for me, so I tapped Corey O’Quin, our Community Groups Guru, to preach the sermon since it was right up his alley (talking about being members together in the body), and he did a great job! I took him to a long lunch afterward to talk about all kinds of things, and the bulk of my comments were on delivery, not content. (Hey, you don’t win “Best Male Actor” in 8th grade without learning a thing or–no, just one thing–about communicating.)

1 Corinthians 12 teaches us the value of being members together in the body (and we will talk further about our giftedness next Sunday)–that Jesus is doing a work bigger than we can imagine when He calls us together in His Body. We ended with this great testimony of a young member of our congregation finding a way she can put her membership in Christ’s body on display in a beautiful way.

(Untitled from The Chapel on Vimeo.)

You know, though, as great as Corey was (and he did do a wonderful job), I come away realizing a few things about my own replaceability. So, without further ado, here are my three thoughts about being disposable in ministry.

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Sunday Debrief: I am in Christ (8/11/13) (or, welcome to the world, Abram!)

Ok, I’ll be honest. It’s been a little bit of a distracting week, so this is almost one week late. Monday morning we welcomed Abram Alexander to the Googer family, forever tipping the scales in favor of the Y-chromosome. 

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So preach on Sunday, baby on Monday. With Asher it was baby on Thursday, preach on Sunday. With Ethan it was baby on Monday, preach five weeks later as a filler for a vacationing Kevin (pulpit supply is a viable ministry!).

So this past Sunday began our new Who Am I? series–eleven weeks focusing in on issues of our own identity in Jesus, and (some of) the central truths that we wanted to focus on for our specific congregation, and being “in Christ” is, to me, the central truth from which all others flow. . .

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Sunday Debrief: Compelled to Continue (7/21/13)

We are getting close to the end. Close to the completion of our Acts series. About a year after we began, we will be finishing up. And today was a great Sunday. (Don’t ask me what makes one Sunday better than another. It is almost completely arbitrary.)

We use a semi-confusing pattern for planning services and working on sermons. It leads us to often say, “Wait. What Sunday are we talking about?” Needless to say, it requires us to stay in planning mode a lot. However, on Sundays like this, we (or I) get to call an audible. There are always dates on the preaching calendar (which maps out our passages over the course of a year) that are “open” and, at times, we can fill those with what we want. I wanted to finish Paul’s third journey (Acts 21:1-16), and I’m glad we did, because it touches on how we should act when believers want different outcomes.

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Sunday Debrief: Shepherding the Flock (7/14/13)

Some days I walk away from preaching thinking I nailed it, other days I don’t. I’m not sure what yesterday was. All signs should’ve pointed to the sermon working perfectly. It is a topic I love (elders and church leadership) at a church I love (The Chapel) where I got to highlight the leadership of the church that I love (our own elders).

The text came from Acts 20:17-38, Paul’s farewell speech to the Ephesian elders. I love this side of Paul’s ministry because he isn’t speaking about elders (like we see in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1) but is speaking to elders. It is a unique insight into how Jesus turned this murderer into a pastor or pastors. I called it the first pastor’s conference. To highlight the passage, we got to share this video of our own elders at The Chapel:

By God’s grace, it doesn’t really matter how I felt at the end of the Sunday. I got the blessing of sharing about a critical part of church life. . .

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Sunday Debrief: Clash of Values (7/7/13)

Have you ever thought about how many careers exist in our world because sin exists? I’ve recently been able to give it more thought than usual as I prepared to preach this Sunday from Acts 19. A quick summary of the passage: Paul preached in Ephesus, people were coming to faith in Jesus, and other people were getting annoyed. Enter Demetrius–a man who made a significant amount of money making idols for people to purchase. Needless to say, some people’s newfound faith in Jesus started to shrink the pocket of our friend Demy (what I affectionately call him).

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The Temple of Artemis isn’t as nice-looking now

There were really two big points from today. . .

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