Practicing What I Preach or Do As I Say Not As I Do?

     Practice what you preach is one of those sayings that is easy to throw around, unless you’re a preacher.  As one who consistently is called to stand before the assembled congregation and proclaim God’s Word, it can be a daunting task.  Not only does it mean that I have to make sure that I am being true to the sacred Biblical text, but I also must ensure that I am a creditable witness to the text.  This isn’t always easy.  The news has many accounts of preachers who subscribe to “the do as I say not as I do” school of thought. 

      I remember when I was a Chaplain Candidate with the Navy and I was taught this very important lesson.  Each summer I would spend time with sailors onboard a ship or other installation.  The first summer I was stationed aboard the USS Anzio.  The Anzio is a guided missile cruiser. For those of you not versed in Naval architecture, a cruiser is not a large ship.  At only 567 feet long and 55 feet wide, this means that the crew live in close quarters.  A crew of 367 people share every space and find themselves in almost constant contact with others.  This context helped to heighten my awareness of just how important it is to be of a consistent character and to ensure that I am practicing as well as preaching.  You can’t be a fake with people when you share a bathroom.  Continue reading

An Invitation from Christ… An Invitation from a Friend… Pass it On

    Today is Maundy Thursday when we reflect and remember the way that Christ chose to prepare his disciples for his death.  We also follow his command to “Do in Remembrance.”  My favorite part of the Communion liturgy is the invitation.  I find it freeing to be able to remind everyone that we aren’t the ones who do the inviting but instead are those that receive the invitation.  Celebrating the Lord’s Supper in the Presbyterian Tradition is wonderful because we don’t put up a fence.  We embody Christ call to welcome all. 

    I wonder how often we remember that as Christ Body in the world we are called to be those who pass along the invitation.  Statistics show, (yes I can’t stand that phrase either) that 80% of new people in churches received a personal invitation to attend.  This invitation is just like the one we get to the table.  It’s real, personal and open.  This Thursday of Holy week I wonder how many of us have passed along the invitation we have received? 

Is there someone you are being called to invite to worship this Easter?
 
Easter Promo – Risk and Reward
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Christmas Evangelism

    Christmas affords us with one of the most opportune times for Evangelism.  Advent and Christmas, even in a church that is in maintenance or decline, is often the most dynamic time in the church’s life. Think for a moment about all that goes into the Advent  and Christmas season. It has so much to offer to members of a congregation and the larger community.

    Each year choirs throughout the world prepare special music for the season.  Our Children’s, Bell and Sanctuary choirs all work very hard to prepare rousing musical offerings.  Not only do they work hard on these offerings, but normally they are pieces of music that even a non-believer has had some experience with.  This provides a welcome opening for guests to feel more comfortable. Our cantata will be held on December 19th during our 11:00 a.m. service. It promises to be a great time of music and the Word which incorporates many familiar tunes.    We also hold special events during Advent and Christmas time.  Our congregation will be holding a Movie Night and Carol Sing-A-Long, aimed at connecting with our Preschool families ,as well as the other families that live in the surrounding area.

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