I was staring at the wall the other day, reminiscing on all the preaching I’ve heard over the last thirty plus years. Many messages have formed my theology, shaped my character, and furthered my love for Jesus.
Sermons are best received when they relate to your season in life. Whether it’s a marriage crisis, need for restoration, or money trouble: the sermons that will stick out to you are the ones that connected to your personal situation.
I have two messages that always come to mind when I think about my personal ministry development. These two weren’t the best messages I’ve heard as far as content, eloquence, etc. However, they did connect in a big way to me personally and my formation as a minister.
1. The gift of Loneliness. Preached by Pastor Jonathan Suber. This message introduced me to the power of relational prayer (which was his subtitle). He talked about his early experiences with Jesus, dealing with his loneliness and inward pain. He learned to open up to Jesus about anything and everything that was bothering him. He declared that God allowed many significant characters in scripture to be left all alone, so they might have the gift of God Himself.
This message transformed my prayer life. I began to talk to God like He was my friend. I was terrified by the call to preach. I doubted myself tremendously. An introvert, I wasn’t comfortable meeting new people. I was awkward at conferences and felt out of place at Bible College. It was during these moments of inward questioning that I learned to vent vertically. I experienced Jesus on a relational level that I never thought was possible.
2. The Mission of the Ministry. Preached by Rick Treece. He talked about the difficulty Moses had in getting Israel to Mount Sinai. Years before on Mount Sinai, God had spoken to Moses from a burning bush, telling him to bring Israel to this mountain and there He would reveal Himself to Israel in a tangible fashion. He stressed the stressing moments Moses had along the way. He talked about the incredible faith the pastor has to have in God, and the trust the people have to have in their pastor.
One of the preaching moments in this message sticks with me more than any other as I now pastor. Moses saw the burning bush when he was all by himself. And now he leads Israel to the place of the burning presence of God. All the while thinking inwardly, when I get them to the mountain, I hope there is some fire and smoke.
God you said if I would preach this message that people would get healed, and so I have faith that when I do preach it, there is going to be some fire and smoke. I have faith that you will show up in power, just like you said you would.
It takes a lot of faith to pastor a church. The people have to trust that their preacher has heard from God and is directing him towards their destined future.
This message made me really appreciate my pastor.
These messages still minister to me today. I’ve held on to the truths presented and assimilated them into the fabric of my faith. In fact, whenever I am going to the hospital to pray for someone. I still pray that when I get there, there is going to be some smoke.
There are other messages that have touched specific areas of my life that I plan on blogging about soon.
What about you?
What sermons ministered to your specific season?