Sunday Reflections (Aug., 26, 2012): Service, Worship, and a Spoken Word
There is nothing like the church when the church is working right. I believe I heard Bill Hybels say something to that effect at one of Willow Creek’s Leadership Summits. And I have found that to be true at my church, The Antioch Church.
As I walked around Antioch today, it hit me afesh that we would not be where we are as a church if it hadn’t been for the grace of God in Christ working in the hearts of believers through the Holy Spirit to give of their time and gifts in service to others. In short, we wouldn’t be where we are without believing members volunteering and leading.
Parents are able to drop their babies off in a safe nursery. Who cares for them while they are there? Mainly volunteers.
Our kids had fun and were taught about Jesus at our Foundation Team Children’s Retreat. Who headed that up? A volunteer.
People walked into our church building, were greeted with a smile, and ushered to an available seating section for worship service. Members were taught the Bible in our Church School. Conference registrations were taken and questions were answered. And a host of other things were done just on today, not to even speak of what happens throughout the week (and especially the love that is expressed and the discipling that takes place between believers on an informal yet personal level). By who? You guessed it. Volunteers.
We thank God for believers who are not just consumers, but understand that God has gifted them to be contributers.
Now about the sermon. Pastor Wesley preached on Psalm 18:1-6 and entitled the message, “The History Behind My Testimonies.” I am grateful to be under a Senior Pastor who labors to faithfully preach the Bible. THAT does NOT happen everywhere. And to top it off, he is a great storyteller. His closing illustration was awesome! You’ll have to get the DVD to see what I mean. 🙂 My preaching and teaching has been significantly strengthened since being under his ministry.
The state of preaching today, in many cases, is not good. You have men (and women) who are “speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them” (Acts 20:30) and people who do not “endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
I could go on, but I’ll let spoken word poet, Jackie E Hill, do it for me in this piece she did at an event called Rhetoric 2012.