You’ve probably heard that the only two constants in life are death and taxes, right?
My wife, Angie, once wisely corrected this in a pretty profound way and replied, “Actually, the only two constants in life are death and choices. You can always choose not to pay your taxes and go to jail.”
Death and choices. That’s life!
One of the readings from this coming weekend’s Lectionary texts is Deuteronomy 30:15-20, and it’s all about making choices. Preaching to people in my modern American context brings a special challenge in this regard because we’re pretty obsessed with making the one right choice in any given scenario because, of course, all the other choices are bad and wrong and destructive, right?
But here’s the truth: When you know who you are supposed to be becoming, what you should do next gets easier to figure out.
Today, you are making choices along a trajectory. It could be that you’ve made some missteps and find yourself having to make hard choices to steer back toward your destiny. I promise you you’re not alone and I can guarantee you that the best time to start making different choices is now.
I know that I’m supposed to become someone who is wise, mature, strong, and compassionate. Therefore I need to make choices that move me toward that goal, even when those choices are less convenient than the alternatives. Even when those choices lead me through testing. And part of the craft of preaching involves helping people to accept that sometimes the harder choice is the wiser one.
Between birth and death lies an ongoing string of choices, and you’ll know what to do when you know who it is you are supposed to become.
In the meantime,
Keep on growing!
PS – I highly recommend Andy Stanley’s book, The Principle of the Path, to see how Andy communicates this principle masterfully to a modern audience.
This Week’s Big Sermon Idea
A sermon idea based on Deuteronomy 30:15-20.
Life is a long series of choices, each affecting the next, moving our lives in the direction of either flourishing or faltering. God invites us to choose the path of life. Begin to pray today that your heart’s desires would be shaped to align with God’s life-giving desires for you and for those around you.
And here’s a bonus variation idea on the same topic and passage.
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:
What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus? There’s an example from our contemporary experience that makes it more relatable. This four-week series looks at discipleship through the lens of apprenticeship and on-the-job training.
Resources for Leaders
Events, books, podcasts, articles, etc.
What’s free in The Ultimate Easter Kit? Everything you need (and nothing you don’t!) to Attract New Visitors and have your church’s Best Easter Yet™️ But it’s so much more than the tools- once you sign in to download the kit, you’ll also have access to an amazing community of 2,000+ church leaders.
When staff and volunteers understand what your church values and how it works, they will feel more empowered to make decisions that are in unison with that goal. Note: This resource is only available until 2/10/23.
- BOOK: The 16 Undeniable Laws of Communication: Apply Them and Make the Most of Your Message
By John Maxwell
- ARTICLE: American Christianity is Due for a Revival
By Timothy Keller in The Atlantic
- ARTICLE: Developing a Habit of Personal Discipline
By Rick Warren via Pastors.com
- ARTICLE: Old Ways to Do New Things
By Mike Glenn, via Scot McKnight’s Newsletter
- VIDEO: A 4-Step Sermon Outlining Method
By Lane Sebring
- RESEARCH: Churchgoers Want More Diversity in the Church
By Marissa Postell Sullivan via Lifeway Research
If you have a resource relevant to pastors and church leaders that you’d like for me to include, feel free to message me. I can’t always promise inclusion but I’ll definitely take a look.
Miss an Issue?
Read The Reflectionary Archives!
About the Cover Art: Photo by Norbert Kundrak 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!