Reflections / Notes / Summary

Notes:

  • So, I’m beyond disappointed with my lack of info on this sermon. I usually keep everything but somehow the full text is gone. All I have is an outline. I even checked old emails. I emailed the pastor the outline but not the full text.
  • Despite that, an outline is a better memory than nothing, so I’m posting it. Also, I spent 10 minutes on formatting the thumbnail for the blog. Can’t lose all that work.
  • I remember this sermon went exceptionally well. I differentiated between rugged individuality and being the unique you that God calls you to be.

Summary: Well folks, a summary and an outline is all I’m good for on this one. Like I mentioned, though, I’d rather have an outline than nothing. So, here goes. This sermon somewhat reminded me of the scene in 300 when Leonidas removes his armor / helmet / etc before attacking Xerxes. Saul tried to get David to wear sixty pounds of armor and carry a spear when David wouldn’t have been able to do anything with all of that gear. David broke rank and used what he knew and what he had to do exactly what God needed him to do. If David would have tried to do it any other way he would have failed, he would have fallen flat on his face. But, he did things according to the way God had designed, and ended up being one of the best kings Israel ever had.

Sermon Outline: Distinctive

Continue Reading "6.12.16: Distinctive"

Reflection / Notes / Summary

Notes:

  • This sermon was definitely my most uncomfortable. I got vulnerable about my brother’s death, which is hard for me to do.
  • The weirdest thing happened after this sermon. An older lady in the congregation came up to me and said she was convicted to get a divorce…thought a sermon on forgiveness…I freaked out. Then she explained. She separated from a man in 1998 and refused to sign the paperwork out of anger so that he couldn’t get remarried. That made more sense, but imagine being nine sermons into your preaching career and hearing, “Yeah, your sermon inspired me to get a divorce!” Ha.

Summary: Forgiveness is a big part of my story. In this sermon I get into the specifics of what forgiveness looked like with the woman who murdered my brother. I talk about how I really never even had a genuine connection to God until I was able to fully forgive. It was also only after I fully forgave that I was able to even accept a call into ministry.

Sermon: Reconciled

Continue Reading "4.3.16: Reconciled"

Reflections / Notes / Summary

Notes:

  • I used a strange example at the end. I had built a little church out of Lego blocks (Hence the bricks in the slideshow background). I had no idea how it would go over. It was one of those things that I knew would either be revolutionary or a total miss. There was no middle ground. I had each member of the congregation take a brick off of the church, representing that each individual is a building block in the church body.
  • The Lego idea went amazing. In fact, months later a man walked up who showed me that he had drilled a hole in his block and kept it on his keychain. He said it’s a daily reminder. When I heard that, it blew my mind. The little things really do make a difference.

Summary: So, this sermon was really one of the first where I broke away from my original church’s style of being totally topical with proof texts. I sat on 1 Peter and let the church chew on it for a while. I kept a running theme going, using construction and masonry examples, comparing us to the bricks we use to build buildings.

Sermon: Knowing Who You Are

Continue Reading "1.31.16: Knowing Who You Are"

Reflection / Notes / Summary

Reflection

  • This was an interesting message for me. It was one of the first times I realized so many people end up landing in the same place preparing sermons as so many other people beforehand.
  • This church was a good church to give a message about strong father figures. It went over very well.

Summary: This sermon was intended to look at the role of Joseph as a husband and a father. It looks at the sacrifices he made, which were great especially compared to the cultural and societal norms of the time. From the beginning, the story of the gospel was a messy, gritty story. The story of Jesus started, and ended, with controversy. Joseph is an amazing example of tenacity throughout his brief introduction in the New Testament.

Sermon: Not Your Average Joe

Continue Reading "11.29.15: Not Your Average Joe"

Reflection / Notes / Summary

Reflection:

  • Onelove is a small church in Huber Heights. I met the senior pastor on an Emmaus walk and we became good friends.
  • He invited me to speak a few months after the walk and asked me to give my Christian Action Emmaus talk.
  • Since, I’ve became friends with the senior pastor and the outreach pastor.
  • After the message, I had a conversation with an elderly woman who broke down and told me that God sent me to talk to her specifically. It was an amazing experience and the first time something that specific has happened.

Summary: This story loosely follows the Emmaus Community’s Christian Action talk outline. It is filled with some personal testimony and a large part of my call story. It breaks away slightly from the format of a standard sermon. If anyone reading this has ever been on an Emmaus walk, you understand the way these talks work. 

Sermon: Christian Action

Continue Reading "11.15.15: Christian Action"

Reflection / Notes / Summary

Reflection:

  • My first sermon at New Hope UMC. This was our sister church in downtown Dayton for many years.
  • New Hope was foundational in my spiritual growth, I still hold a special place in my heart for the people there.
  • Xenia Ave is an impoverished area, but the people are awesome, the church is growing, and I miss it a lot.
  • At New Hope, I really started to come into my own and get comfortable with preaching.
  • The New Orleans story went over exceptionally well. I think food always does, though.

Summary: This sermon was specifically about the third word in the mission statement of New Home Church: Share/Build/Reach. Share the good news, build radical Christ followers, reach the world. The sermon includes practical advice on how to implement the “reach” mentality into everyday life. It was very close to the time of the “Christian Action” sermon and some parts of the story are repeated in both sermons. This sermon could be summed up by saying: When it comes to reaching the world, start internally, move to family, then to community, then to the world. We don’t have to jump on a plane to Haiti if there are folks hurting in your own community, but don’t ignore those outside of your community either.

Sermon: Reach!

Continue Reading "5.31.15: Reach!"

Reflection / Notes / Summary

Notes:

  • Sermon number three at Lewisburg UMC. I was definitely still cutting my teeth at this time.
  • This was when I realized that no pastors preach at their own churches on the Sunday after New Year’s Day
  • The Sunday after New Years is statistically the lowest attendance Sunday in churches across the USA.

Summary: This sermon is about concreting resolutions and fixing broken areas of your life. Not about choosing off-the-wall lofty goals, but practical goals that are attainable and edifying. It was also about finding your passion in your resolution.

Sermon: New Year’s Revolution!

Continue Reading "1.4.15: New Year’s Revolution"

Reflection / Notes / Summary

Notes:

  • This was my second sermon ever.
  • Nervousness almost vanished. I still swayed a bit but pacing was great.
  • I started to get a little looser, I winged it and added some jokes that went well.
  • The Target / Bible Tract story really struck home.

Summary: This sermon was about being content with what you have and moving away from a consumerist lifestyle. It was about finding contentment in whatever season of life you’re in.

Sermon: Thanksgiving

Continue Reading "11.23.14: Thanksgiving 2014"

Reflection / Notes / Summary

Notes:

  • This was my absolute first sermon or major public speaking event ever.
  • When I get nervous, I fly through text. I blew through a 25 minute sermon in….fifteen minutes max. But, I learned something about myself.
  • When I get nervous, I’m also rocker. I sway side to side like an ocean ship. Many people told me during this first sermon that I did this. Believe me, I’m now aware.
  • It was after this sermon that a mentor poured into me regarding writing as a discipline and as a spiritual gift…we were reviewing the manuscript before I gave it and we had a long conversation about it.

Summary: This sermon was given right around the time people/kids/grandkids were going back to school, so it was fresh in their minds. This was a sermon aimed at getting the congregation to focus on the spiritual disciplines the church outlined weekly. All of these disciplines being universally important in all believers’ lives (attendance / study / small group / tithing / serving).

Sermon: Making The Grade

Continue Reading "9.14.13: Making The Grade"