Sunday, February 12, 2006


Sunday Mornings ordinarily find me alternating between kids and grown-ups. I start shortly after 9 a.m. by dismissing the kids of Sunday Morning Celebration to their small groups. It's then off to teach an adult Bible study. And then, following this small group time, it's off to Celebration Large Group...a full scale ministry and activity time for the kids (see previous entry for some of the fun). It is such a HUGE blessing to minister to these kids.

However, once in a while, I get to step out of the role of "Children's Ministries Director" and step into the pulpit to deliver the message in the main service. I used to be a senior pastor in Colorado, so preaching to a congregation comes naturally. Usually, I am in the pulpit if the pastor is away at a camp or retreat or a well-earned vacation.But unfortunately, the pastor's absence this weekend was unplanned. He was hospitalized Friday night. So the elder board moderator called me and said, "you're up on Sunday!"

One of the questions people ask is, "do you always have a sermon ready just in case?" I guess that in 22 years of ministry, I've had a few messages I've reserved for the proverbial rainy day. But since I very rarely repeat a message once I've given it, I usually run out of the "just-in-case file." But in this case, I was ready. During my substitute times, I have been preaching expositionally through 2 Thessalonians. The neat thing about expositional preaching is that I always know where I will be next time. I'm always studying ahead and thinking about how to present it ahead of time. When the pastor gives me a date, I simply intensity the studies and concentrate on assembling all the data and application into a message. So when I got the Friday phone call, I already knew what I was going to preach on. The only difference was not having as much time to refine and fine tune as usual.

But God is awesome! The Word went forth and once again, I was reminded of two very important lessons. First of all, I'm just a channel. Any blessing or challenge that anybody gets from the message is not due to me, but to the Holy Spirit. This is true regardless of whether I'm working with adults or hanging out with the kids.
The second lesson? Our team of KidServants can handle a last minute change of plans very easily, thank you very much! What a neat group of men, women, and teens (if they're reading this, I just want to say, "WELL DONE this morning!")

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Sunday Morning Celebration is the Sunday School of our church. At our early hour, we have small groups (the traditional Sunday School hour). But our second hour is Large Group time, a mixed age worship and activity time. It's a fun time and you never know who might show up.
This week (Super Bowl Sunday), we were looking at the Macedonian call from Acts 16. And who should arrive to give us a geography lesson but the famous Professor Parker Pinehurst! Professor Pinehurst has visited us several times and always amazes and wows with his depth of knowledge and extreme humility. With a map and string, Professor Pinehurst showed us Paul's journeys and attempted journeys until he ended up in Macedonia. Unfortunately, Professor Pinehurst got a little tangled in the string and...well, the rest is predictable.
As you can see, Celebration is a lot of fun. I have made it a habit to start bringing my camera on Sundays in order to capture some of the excitement. We may not be a mega-church, but we can certainly work on having a mega-children's ministry, to the glory of God!