Joseph, Mary’s husband, might seem like an insignificant part of the Jesus narrative in that he’s there for the birth and childhood of Jesus and then not mentioned again. And we feel like Joseph sometimes – just a little piece of a much bigger story.
But Joseph’s message from the angel about Jesus coming to be “God in flesh” for the whole world was incredibly significant. And it’s an invitation offered to any and all of us who want to experience God personally.
More about that in this week’s featured sermon idea (see below).
I also wanted to encourage you, as you wind down another year of ministry and face a new one, to make 2023 a year of pastoral rhythm.
I’m going to write more about what that means and how you can escape the constant performance anxiety of pushing to make everything about your church bigger, but in the meantime, I wanted to pass along a special deal for you on the 2023 Pastor’s Planner.
The planner is “designed to give pastors and church leaders, like you, a consistent personal system for each week.” According to the description:
In addition to space to write down some important things, there’s also helpful coaching to prepare you for what’s to come in the life of the Church.
This digital download gives you one page for each week of the year. It will help you clarify the desired outcomes for the week, help you think through what you need to do, and even remind you of people who need a one-on-one connection.
It’s on sale for just a few days and I wanted to pass it along.
And let’s make 2023 a year of pastoral rhythm!
Keep on growing!
PS – I’m expanding my creative work in 2023 and I’m looking for pastors and churches who need help with their communications. My ideal opportunity is to come alongside a church leader and their congregation to create a fresh website where we can take their weekly messages, transcribe them, and turn them into articles with short video clips and quotes to share on social media.
Whether you need a little help, or a LOT of help, read more about what we do here and let me know if we can possibly partner with you!
This Week’s Big Sermon Idea
Your Big Moment: Meeting God In Person
Based on Matthew 1:18-25
There is no event more significant than the moment you personally encounter God in Christ. That moment changes everything, forever. If you allow it, the moment you meet Jesus can change the way you think about absolutely everything and alter the trajectory of every relationship you enjoy.
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:
This sermon series looks at the building and foundation language the Bible uses in reference to Christ. Each week looks at a different passage, like the parable of the houses built on sand and stone and Paul’s words in Ephesians 2 and 1 Corinthians.
Exiles in Babylon: Theology in the Raw Conference
March 23-25, 2022 (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!
Links and Resources for Pastors and Church Leaders
Links to resources I have found helpful, inspiring, thought-provoking, and sometimes entertaining.
- BOOK: The Mountain Is You: Transforming Self-Sabotage Into Self-Mastery
By Brianna West
- ARTICLE: How to Live a Fruitful, Meaingful Life
I wrote this almost 3 years ago.
- ARTICLE: This Advent, Churches Urged to Assess Worship for Inadvertent Antisemitism
By Kathryn Post, Episcopal News Service
- RESEARCH: The Most Common Lies People Believe about Jesus
By Aaron Earls, LifeWay Research
- PODCAST: Amazing Peace
By Bishop Rob Wright, For People Podcast
Miss an Issue?
Read The Reflectionary Archives!
About the Cover Art: Photo by Gavin Tyte 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!