I’m a day late with The Reflectionary this week because we’re on our big annual family vacation at the beach, which reminds me of a piece of advice I have for every family serving in ministry together (because it’s always the whole family, isn’t it?):
Make memories. Establish traditions. Go on adventures. It’s not about how much money you spend on a trip – you can have plenty of crazy fun on limited resources – it’s about being away, together, so that your home and your marriage become sanctuaries in the midst of a chaotic world.
I want my kids to grow up knowing, the world is rough, but home was sweet and Mom and Dad will never stop loving us or each other.
In the spirit of that, listen to one of my favorite songs about “Family”…
Sermon Ideas Based on the Lectionary
Note: The notes in the Reflectionary each week are based on Lectionary texts ten days out (so, the next Sunday, not the coming Sunday). If you need to see notes for this Sunday’s texts, visit last week’s Reflectionary.
For August 14, 2022
Year C – Tenth Sunday After Pentecost
First Reading and Psalm
WORKING TITLE: What God Expects from His Beloved People
What God expects in response to his love, provision, and care, is justice and righteousness. What he often sees is just the opposite. How are you working to promote peace and healing in the world God created around you?
Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19
WORKING TITLE: The Shepherd Who Comes to Save
Sometimes what we need most is to learn how to talk to God as the Shepherd interested in our healing and our salvation. If you are realizing today that you stand in need of healing and restoration, look to the God who has demonstrated his own commitment to his people with the cross and resurrection of Jesus. Then ask confidently for restoration.
Alternate First Reading and Psalm
WORKING TITLE: The God Who Is Both Near and Far
Sometimes we struggle to believe in a god who rules such a vast cosmos, and then we also wrestle with the possibility that God is personally attuned to our individual lives. Jeremiah introduces us to the God who fills heaven and earth and tunes into our lives on earth in a personal way.
WORKING TITLE: The God of Justice Will Judge Righteously
God’s judgment is ultimately a tool to bring all nations under the kind of justice he has always desired for his world. Are you willing to keep trusting and hanging onto the hope that God will eventually bring justice to the world? And are you willing to be an instrument of that justice today for all those who are oppressed and marginalized?
WORKING TITLE: Have Faith That God Isn’t Finished Yet
Faith isn’t always about getting what we want by believing that we’ll get it. Rather, faith is about getting closer to God as we trust that he isn’t finished working in, around, or through us. Whether or not he ever changes your adverse circumstances, you can be assured that if you obey him faithfully through this season, you’re going to grow closer to him and more like Jesus.
WORKING TITLE: How Jesus Disrupts Everything
Jesus’ death on the cross has become, just as Jesus predicted, the single most divisive and disruptive event in all of human history. In fact, it could be that what you need most desperately in life is the disruption that Jesus alone can bring. It’s time to allow Jesus space to confront and disrupt anything about your life that doesn’t align with his kingdom rule and values.
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 or sermon outlines) 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:
This series is inspired by 1 Samuel 30:6, where the Bible tells us that in a very low point, David “strengthened himself in the LORD his God.” There are times when our souls are weary, and in a sense, we have to preach to ourselves, reminding ourselves of God’s truth. Portions of passages like Psalm 42, Psalm 103, and Lamentations 3 read like someone talking to themselves, encouraging themselves, and reminding their own soul of God’s truth during dark and isolated moments.
A Conference for Church Communications Leaders
August 22-23, 2022 (Online)
October 18-19, 2022 (Charlotte, NC)
The Church Communicator Conference is specially designed for the accidental church communicator, the one that wears many hats and may have stumbled upon this role without a plan. Lead pastors and executive pastors will also benefit from this conference as it will introduce principles and concepts that will assist with creating a unified communication strategy that aligns with the vision and mission of the church.
Books, Links, and Resources for Pastors and Church Leaders
- VIDEO: Are You Killing Your Church’s Generosity? A video by Lane Sebring
- ARTICLE: How God Restores Your Soul, by Rick Warren
- RESEARCH: Pastors Have Congregational and, for Some, Personal Experience With Mental Illness, from LifeWay Research
- ARTICLE: 3 Ways Vulnerability Shapes Better Leaders, by Anastasia Chernikova
- BOOK: Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory, by Tod Bolsinger
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About the Cover Art: The Church of Paul in the center of Rotterdam is known throughout the Netherlands as a former reception center of drug addicts under the leadership of Reverend Hans Visser. Sculptured glass/concrete window Crucifix (1960) by Ger van Iersel in Rotterdam/The Netherlands; mural made by Lastplak. Crucifix and mural, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.