It's that last quiet day before the rush of services.
For preachers this is the busiest time of the year. We hope that all of our work in crafting messages, and writing worship experiences will pay off. We want people to follow Jesus. Maybe this year all our efforts will turn skeptics to seekers, and inactives to fully engaged.
We put a ton of pressure on ourselves to deliver the Good News this week don't we? "Make sure to preach in compelling ways so that the people who venture in will have the best shot to receive and believe the truth."
I would like to take you off the hook.
Your messages and services will probably not have the impact you want them to have.
All of our efforts through the years to preach and proclaim, lead worship are not bearing the fruit of increased attendance or deeper involvement.
My point is not to put a downer on you right before the biggest 4 days of the year. In fact, my purpose is to release you. Take the edge off our your expectations. Preach with the greatest creativity you can muster because God has invited you to share what you have experienced, what you know to be true. You are the bearer of Good News because you have been given Good News. You don't have to convince anyone of anything. You simply get to share what you have received.
We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. 1 John 1:1
A word of encouragement.
Embrace your dream. God put it there. He called you out of darkness to declare His wonderful light. Take some time before you preach this weekend to remember why you preach? What is your motivation? Write it out. then remember it on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, during the Vigil on Holy Saturday, and all day Easter Sunday. Stop yourself this Holy Week. Remember why you do all of these services? Do anything you can to embrace a pattern interrupt of the normal routine.You had a dream once. You had a strong passion at one time. You wanted to see people______________________.
You are more than a dispenser of good sermons and inspiring services.
You are a child of the Father invited like everyone else to the Upper Room, and to Calvary. You are one of those who gets to run to the empty tomb and see that He is not there. He did all of the stuff you preach about FOR YOU TOO! Take some time to bask in that reality today.
You focus so much on preparing experiences for everyone else that you frequently miss out on the journey.
Where does the preacher go?
Where does the worship leader go?
To the same spot as everyone else.
Do not lead your services this week or preach the messages this week for anyone else. Preach it, sing the lyrics, lead the order, for you. Pretend no one else is there.
Then you will be ready to share it with others. Then you can share what you are seeing as you go. Think of yourself as a travel guide.
I took a Sabbatical last year. I missed Holy Week last year. Easter Sunday I was on porch in the mountains with my wife. We sang Easter hymns from the hymnal and read the Gospel texts for ourselves. What a blessing that time was for us. I didn't really miss all of the services. Perhaps I was burned out on performing, providing. It is quite possible that I loss sight of MY invitation.
Follow me. -Jesus
God has graciously rekindled that desire to follow Him and help Christian leaders do the same. You are free to do that you know. And, then free to dream a big dream about how YOU CAN invite others to join you.
I have written a book that will be released soon. Get on the list to get it before anyone else does.