Weekly Newsletter: 3 Things You’ll Never Control + Sermon Notes on the Deeply Personal Gospel + More

by | Oct 26, 2023 | The Reflectionary

As preachers and speakers, wouldn’t it be awesome if we could somehow make people do the things we know they should be doing? Like giving up a harmful addiction, restoring a broken relationship, or getting involved more deeply in your church’s community.

But the fact is, we can’t (and shouldn’t) control people. Even God doesn’t control people. He grants us the gift of volition because he loves us. And if we love people, we will shepherd and lead them while refusing to try to control them.

I wrote an article about that and wanted to pass it along:

READ: 3 Things You’ll Never Control as a Preacher

I’m also sharing a message outline this week from one of the Lectionary readings for this coming Sunday, 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8, as well as other helpful resources. Keep reading!

Let’s keep praying for peace in Israel and Palestine as well as courage and comfort for people living in Lewiston, Maine.

And let’s keep growing from the inside out!


PS – My friend, Greg Atkinson, is the creator and host of the First Impressions Conference, an empowering and practical one-day online conference designed specifically for church leaders and pastors who are passionate about creating welcoming environments for their congregations. It’s coming up on November 9 and I wanted to make sure you were aware of it! There’s a free option and a couple of paid options, too.

Register for The First Impressions Conference


This Week’s Big Sermon Idea

The Good News of Jesus is Deeply Personal

A sermon outline based on 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8.

Sharing the gospel means far more than simply passing along information. It means sharing the good news about Jesus out of a relationship based on genuine empathy and compassion.

Read and Share the Series »


Creative Sermon Series Ideas from MinistryPass

My favorite resource for sermon series and message ideas, complete series graphics, and video bumpers (but NOT full notes) to get you started is MinistryPass! Each week, I’ll feature a series I would recommend checking out for the upcoming season of the church year. This week:

True and Better

From the Description:

This six-week series examines the theological idea that Jesus is true, better, and greater than specific figures and events in the Old Testament. Through looking at the comparisons between Jesus and Moses, David, Job, Melchizedek, and the tabernacle, we can understand the importance of such figures and how Jesus fulfills and is greater than those truths of the Old Testament.

Check Out This Sermon Series »


Links for Leaders


Other Things I’ve Written

Here are links to a few other things I’ve written or recorded in the last week or two:


Miss an Issue? Read The Newsletter Archives!


Is It Time for a Website Redesign?

When I start a website redesign project – for a church, a nonprofit, leader/pastor/speaker, etc. – I get obsessed with the details. I want it to shine! And more importantly, I want it to show up in search results.

If your website feels “clunky” or disorganized, hard to navigate, hard to find using Google, or just outdated in its style, let’s talk!! This is what I do!

Visit my creative services page and use the form to let me know about your current site, what you’d like to improve, and the budget you want to work within and we’ll have a conversation!

Get a Website Redesign Quote


This newsletter is powered by ConvertKit, which I highly recommend for launching your own online newsletter, email list, platform, etc.

Check out ConvertKit!

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash.

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