Enjoying lay preaching again

One of the things I have been able to do in the last three months is return to lay preaching. It was something I did for years before becoming a Pastor.

Preaching as a Pastor is different to preaching as a lay preacher. You know the church, the people, and what God is trying to do. And you have a lot of others things in your mind about the day to day running of the church.

Going back to be a lay preacher has been refreshing. You prayerfully prepare your message over a few weeks, give it a run through, turn up on the day and preach. Then you might talk with people and/or prayer for them and you are done.

Now don’t get me wrong I loved my time being Pastor of my last church. It is something I will treasure as a highlight of my working life. But returning to lay preaching has been enjoyable.

The only negative is that you can’t do a series of messages that have a theme or work your way through a book of the Bible. This is because you generally are only at a church every two months or so.

So far I have done three messages at two churches. Maybe in time that will expand to more in our region?

Blessings,
Dave

A simple prayer of blessing

‘May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.’
Numbers 6:24‭-‬26 NLT

These words are the Priestly blessing from the Old Testament. God told Aaron and his sons that when they pray that over people, that He will do it. It was a promise of God.

Today when someone asks me to pray for them I often pray this prayer as a part of the prayer. Or I might exchange the word “you” for their name. Like this…

‘May the Lord bless and protect {name}. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give {name} peace.’

It is a simple thing, but people often appreciate it. It is how God told the Old Testament priests to pray for the people, so I think it is a good way for us today.

Blessings,

Dave

 

 

Alive and active

I have been asked to preach in a few weeks on a particular passage from Ephesians. It is a passage that I spoke on a few years ago at my previous church.

The easiest thing to do would be to use my previous sermon and preach that again. But in reading the sermon and reading the passage again, different sections jumped out at me this time. This is not the first time this has happend to me.

My starting place with sermons is always prayer and asking God what He wants me to share. As a result of this certain words or ideas usually stand out over others. These make their way in to the final sermon.

Because I will be preaching at a different church to the one I Pastored, they have different needs and God might want to say something different to them. So I always try to be open to both the passage and the Holy Spirit.

As Pastors and preachers we need to remember the Word is God is alive and active. Hebrews 4:12 reminds us, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

God’s Word never changes. It is eternal. But the focus that God wants us to bring to a particular church on a particular day may change due to where the church is at.

This is why I love preaching. It is always fresh and new each time and God always has something to say from His eternal Word to us.

Blessings,
Dave