Thursday, April 10, 2008

Surfing for Sermons- Part 2

In my first post on this subject, I quoted Dr. Tom Blackaby, “People are being given second-hand visions from mega churches, and second-hand sermons God gave to other messengers.”

That would describe many pastors as ‘Cookie Cutter Pastors and Churches.’ With all the pressure out there from ‘successful pastors’ many pastors are pressed upon to mimic what is working and what is ‘preaching.’ Ever noticed how many of these 'successful pastors' look almost identical in their dress, hair (or lack thereof), stage designs (one church I know spends more in a week on stage design than many small churches receive in a months worth of offerings), and their sermon emphasis. I love the Pillsbury doughboy and the products he represents but I sure don’t want to look like him!

“And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jer. 3:15).

Blackaby continues, “The simple reality is that many pastors are seeking God’s heart in a book or online rather than in His Word, through prayer, or by spending unhurried time alone with God seeking His heart.”

Listen, if you are finding your sermons online, chances are your sheep can find them too. There have been some prominent pastors (as well as politicians) embarrassed and some even asked to leave their churches after it was discovered they were ‘preaching verbatim’ other’s sermons. This points to the fact that we are losing our identity and uniqueness in many churches today!

God has uniquely created each pastor and placed him with a unique congregation for a unique vision. It is his to pray through, get it, and implement it. You can only be yourself and not somebody else. We have to settle that fact and believe that God has something unique for us. I remember a pastor friend from years ago who attended all the seminars on ‘how to do church,’ bought all the books and tapes, and tried to apply all that stuff only to become frustrated and no longer in the ministry.

Listen, I know as pastors we will always be looking for new ideas, way to do things, and topics to preach, but we need to become strong in Christ and the time we spend online needs to be spent with Him and His Word. There is no greater sermon you can preach than one that has come as manna from heaven into your own soul!

Lk 10:38-42 As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. "Master, don't you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand." The Master said, "Martha, dear Martha, you're fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it — it's the main course, and won't be taken from her." TMB

Nor from you, Pastor!

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