The Reflectionary – Even Through Life’s Shadows

by | Jan 21, 2023 | The Reflectionary

Welcome to mid-January, the time of year when we’re finally feeling rested from the crazy holiday schedule, but also the time of year when we start to feel like we’re too long into the year to launch anything new or big.

It feels a couple of weeks too late to announce a theme or a major sermon series. But it’s not.

There’s nothing magical about January 1. You can craft and share a vision message now and your congregation will benefit from it! And you can also look forward to the coming Lenten season and Easter and start thinking about how your communication of the gospel will draw more people into a more intimate walk with Jesus.

In fact, I’m launching something new myself. Next week, launching Walk Humble. And as I said over on my Instagram profile,

Next week, I’m relaunching I’ll host a regular podcast and share articles, devotionals, blog posts, and social media updates offering wisdom and encouragement about life, faith, and relationships.

More importantly, I want to host a conversation among people who don’t have life all figured out yet. People who have big questions. People who need healing and peace. People who don’t mind helping other people through suffering.

You’re all invited. Everybody’s welcome. Everyone’s story matters.

I can’t wait to get started!

If you’re a church leader, teacher, pastor, etc. who is reading this, I want to challenge you to always be asking the question, how can the messages I work hard on bless and touch more people? Having a bigger crowd is never the measure of success, so that’s not the end goal. The goal is one more lost sheep coming home to the Shepherd and we get the privilege of being the messengers who introduce them to him.

On that note, it’s quite possible you’ve got a book in you! My friend Brian Dixon, co-founder of hope*writers, is going to host a free webinar on January 30 and I wanted to send you an invite to grab a seat early. If you’re interested, sign up…

Save Your Seat: How To Write And Publish Your Book This Year

And as I say all the time, if I can help you with message or series planning, communication coaching, a fresh new website, or anything else, don’t hesitate to reach out!

In the meantime,

Keep on growing!



This Week’s Big Sermon Idea

Walking with God Through Life’s Deepest Shadows

Based on Isaiah 9:1-4

There will always be shadows through which we must pass on life’s journey, and as we do, we can trust that God is both with us and for us through those seasons. It’s not about feeling God’s presence. It’s about trusting that God is present in spite of all the feelings we have while walking through life’s deepest shadows.

Read and/or Share the Full Article »


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:

From the Description:

No matter their career, stage of life, spiritual knowledge, or past mistakes, this series will motivate congregants to step into all God has for them and to accomplish his purposes every day. Using the story of Elisha and King Jehoash in 2 Kings 13, this series will inspire people to give their best to God so that he can use them in even greater ways to influence family, friends, the church, and local community.

Check Out This Sermon Series »


Upcoming Events


Free Webinar: How To Write And Publish Your Book This Year
January 30, 2023 (Online)

Join this free live training where hope*writers co-founder Brian Dixon will walk you through the three keys to writing and publishing your book in 2023. Hope*writers helps writers balance the art of writing and the business of publishing without feeling lost, discouraged, or overwhelmed.

Registration and More Information Here »


Exiles in Babylon: Theology in the Raw Conference
March 23-25, 2023 (Boise, ID)

To be a Christian is to be an exile. The Bible has a name for the country we’ve been exiled to: Babylon. As exiles living in Babylon, we need to think biblically, Christianly, indeed exilically—not partisanly—through cultural and political issues. This year, our topics include: The Future of the Church, Disability and the Church, Multiethnic Perspectives of American Christianity, a conversational debate on the Problem of Evil, and a pre-conference symposium on Women in Leadership!

Registration and More Information Here »


If you have an upcoming event relevant to pastors and church leaders that you’d like me to add to my calendar of events, feel free to message me!


Miss an Issue?
Read The Reflectionary Archives!


About the Cover Art: Photo by Matthew Ansley on Unsplash.



Give Your Sermon Life Beyond This Sunday with Your Own Website

I work with pastors who 1.) don’t have a staff member dedicated to communications and 2.) don’t have the time to handle it all themselves to do the following:

  • Create a website where you can host your sermon content so that it lives beyond Sunday.
  • Transcribe your Sunday messages and edit them into articles and ebooks.
  • Create short video clips and other social media posts from your sermon videos.
  • Create and manage an email list so people can be updated when you’ve added new content.
  • Meet monthly to coach you through some creative sermon planning and preparation.

If you believe I can help you, let’s talk!

Read More or Start the Conversation

How to Support This Website

All of the resources and ideas found on Preaching for Change are made freely available to anyone who benefits from them. Some pastors have the budget and means for professional development and creative resources while others do not. For those who can and wish to support this website financially, feel free to do so at the link below.

Feeling Burned Out?

Exhausted? Depleted? Disillusioned? You’re not alone! In January of 2021, 29% of pastors had considered quitting. By March of 2022, that number had risen to 42%. (According to Barna Research) And things aren’t getting any easier. So we’ve developed this 20-question free burnout assessment tool to help you know where you stand.

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