Called Out

Colossians: A Little Letter to a Church Just Like Yours

I preach in a town of about 800 people. In fact, I’ve lived here my whole life.

It’s easy to feel like God misplaced you when you’re in a small town. Every conference I attend has speakers from big cities. Every preacher whose books I read is from a church that has more people attending than we do in our entire town. In the meantime, there are days when counting the dogs that randomly walk into the building would be tempting.

Who am I fooling? We’ve done that. Continue reading

Wake Up! A Christmas Sermon Series

Sooner or later in preaching you struggle with the issue of how to keep Christmas sermons fresh. The selection of Christmas texts seems limited to Matthew and Luke, unless you get a bit more creative. How many times can you tell the same story over and over again?

It turns out you can do it a lot, actually. It helps, though, to find fresh approaches and new themes rather than simply retell and rehash the same old stories over and over again.

This year I received an email from Sermons.com offering several different Christmas and Advent series for the coming season. I found an intriguing title that I thought would be fun to explore this year. It was a series by a user who goes by “King Duncan” (apparently a Macbeth fan) called “Wake Up!” I’m not one to spend money on a sermon series, but based on the title and the passages highlighted I was able to put together a decent Christmas series. Continue reading

What a Roller Coaster Ride with my Autistic Son Taught Me about My Heavenly Father

“Connor understands more than he lets on.” If I’ve heard that once I’ve heard it 1000 times. I believe it’s true. Autism might have left my son’s world silent but his mind is very active. People who spend any time interacting with him soon come to realize that there’s a lot going on upstairs.

But how much does he really understand? How much can he comprehend of this world around him? That’s always a big concern for us and it was in the forefront of our minds when we took Connor and Grace to Holiday World a few weeks ago. Continue reading

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Church Hopping from Generational IQ by Haydn Shaw

Baby Boomers and Church Hopping

Chgenerationaliqurch hoppers are hooked on a feeling more than on God. When they find a church they like, it’s all new, shiny, and exciting. The sermons are different and the people are wonderful–unlike those needy or irritating people from the last church. Then a year passes, and they discover that these people are needy or weird just like the people in the last four churches. Three years later, the worship songs don’t move them anymore. They wonder why their minster can’t preach more like this guy they’ve been listening to on the radio. And they begin to wonder if God perhaps wants them to go someplace where they can be fed spiritually, because they’re certainly not feeling it here. Individualism brought God close; hyperindividualism applied a consumer’s attitude toward churches, and it has stunted Boomers’ spiritual growth.