Saturday, July 19, 2008

QG's First Sermon

Tomorrow is the day!

I'm preaching here, and I decided to follow the pastor's suggestion and preach on the vision of the presbytery which is: "Growing congregations that passionately engage their communities to make disciples."

One of the problems I have always had with vision and mission statements is that, in my experience, after lots of time and effort is spent in developing them they become slogans for the website and stationery rather than a guide for the future. Although I think that our presbytery's committees have tried to use the vision statement as a guide, our congregations are not aware of it or how the presbytery proposes to help them "engage their communities to make disciples." This is a great opportunity to talk about this evangelistic vision with this congregation. Thanks, Howard!

Here's the outline for my sermon: using scripture from Nehemiah (Ezra the priest reads the books of the law to the returned exiles) and Luke (Jesus sends the disciples out to make more disciples), I talk about how we have to equip our congregations by reading and studying the Bible and then we have to go out into the community rather than expecting people to come to us in order to make disciples.

Presbytery has two programs to support congregations in these efforts. We have a team of Vision Consultants who will come work with a congregation to help them discern how they are being called to engage their communities, we have a Vision Initatives Grant program to help fund creative ideas that fulfill our vision and we have 16 New Church Developments (and counting!). I'll give examples of some of the recent grants so the congregation can get an idea of the different types of things other churches are doing.

I'm emphasizing that making disciples is about forming relationships with others--so it depends on each one of us, it's not something that presbytery can do for us. I'm using some examples from the books Take This Bread by Sara Miles and Just Walk Across the Room by Bill Hybels as illustrations.

My favorite part of getting to preach is that I get to choose the hymns! We're going to sing "Ye Servants of God Your Master Proclaim", "Lord Speak To Me" and "Lift High The Cross."

Thanks to lots of encouragement from friends and family (and the Holy Spirit, no doubt!), I'm over being nervous about stepping out of my comfort zone and into the pulpit and looking forward to tomorrow.

16 comments:

Gannet Girl said...

May you be completely enveloped by a sense of God's presence and peace tomorrow morning!

Lydia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reverendmother said...

You will kick butt for Jesus.

Lydia said...

Sounds great!

Perhaps God will call you to share the sermon with the whole of presbytery.

Grace and peace,

Lydia

Songbird said...

I predict you will be Fierce and Fabulous for Jesus, QG!!

St. Casserole said...

QG, I'm so proud of you! You'll be great!

Christine said...

Break a leg!

Ruby said...

I'll be thinking of you in the AM. You'll be a knock-out.

cheesehead said...

The Holy Spirit has got your back!

Gannet Girl said...

Well????

zorra said...

So how did it go????

mid-life rookie said...

Checking in late...so how did it go? My call verse is Nehemiah 8:8 where Ezra and Nehemiah have read from the book of the law and then priests go out among the people reading and giving it meaning. To me going out among the people giving it meaning means teaching, helping others grow in understanding AND living out the word of God in the world. Hope it went well.

Quotidian Grace said...

Thanks for asking, everyone!

It went well. The congregation was very welcoming and many came up to greet and thank me.

he true test is that both of my daughters and my son-in-law were highly complimentary and said I had a "good sermon style."

Not sure one sermon makes a style, but hey, I'm not going to argue with such kind words!

Mary Beth said...

Excellent! Great stuff! Yeah for you!

Presbyterian Gal said...

I knew you'd be great! Any chance we get to hear it?

seethroughfaith said...

I talk about how we have to equip our congregations by reading and studying the Bible and then we have to go out into the community rather than expecting people to come to us in order to make disciples.

Amen sis!