Preachers, God is Watching – Does He Approve

You see, we are not like the many hucksters who preach for personal profit. We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ’s authority, knowing that God is watching us.2 Corinthians 2:17 NLT

To this aim we do what we do. Not to make ourselves famous or gain financially. But to strengthen and equip those we serve with the ability to be productive ministers of the faith to which they are called.

God is watching us, does he approve?

Be Clear and Be Available

It’s the same for you. If you speak to people in words they don’t understand, how will they know what you are saying? You might as well be talking into empty space. There are many different languages in the world, and every language has meaning. But if I don’t understand a language, I will be a foreigner to someone who speaks it, and the one who speaks it will be a foreigner to me. And the same is true for you. Since you are so eager to have the special abilities the Spirit gives, seek those that will strengthen the whole church. – 1 Corinthians 14:9-12 NLT

One of the most important things as a preacher, teacher, writer and/or speaker, etc. is clarity. Even our daily relationships need a good dose of clarity. We need to be clear on what one another is saying or feeling. In regards to who you minister to, manage, or work with we need to be communicating in a way that our hearers, leaders, and subordinates or peers can understand. The only way for people to know what we expect or what we are saying is to speak in words (communicate in such a way) which they can understand. Not communicating in a way others can easily understand is the same as shouting out into an empty space. You’ll get no reply. Here are a few things I am learning.

Be clear in your speaking / teaching. Every time you get up to speak the truth of God be clear and know who your talking to. Know your audience.

Be available for the Holy Spirit to use but seek those things which will have the biggest return. Don’t get any preconceived ideas but earnestly pray that God would use you in order to impact the whole church as opposed to just one. Never get into the pulpit or classroom with just one person in mind. More than likely they won’t be there that day. Speak in order to strengthen all, not some.

Be clear and be available. Keep Pursuing.

Am I Speaking Clearly

11 we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God. – Acts 2:11 (NKJV)

Have you ever been misunderstood?

Have there been times between someone else speaking and it getting to your ears you completely misunderstand the point and are left dazed?

In reading Acts 2 I am encouraged. I am encouraged because I am reminded once again that the Holy Spirit working in our lives has the ability to empower you and I to be an effective witnesses. Though the disciples of Jesus Christ were unlearned in speaking to the various dialects of those that were in Jerusalem for Pentecost, they were empowered to speak in a tongue (language) they haven’t learned as they were filled with the Holy Spirit. They were supernaturally infused with the gift to speak of the wonderful works of God in a way that those who were there could understand. This stopped me dead in my tracks this morning as I read this passage and the thought hit me.

Are we speaking clearly to those around us on a day to day basis the wonderful works of God or is it just noise?

Simply, when others are around us are they able to state the following… “There is no doubt something is different about (insert your name here). What in the world could that difference be.” The point is this, our witness must be compelling, our witness must be engaging, and our witness must be clear. Your witness can only be those things by the supernatural empowering of the Holy Spirit. Determine today that as a believer you are going to allow the Holy Spirit to empower you in order to speak clearly to those around you.

Any thoughts? Any insight? Continue the conversation by leaving a comment.

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Teaching Your Lesson for Maximum Effectiveness

Exodus 18:20
And you shall teach them the statutes and the Laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do.

Sometimes when receiving the outline to teach a lesson you can be left with the question, “How are the kids I teach supposed to grasp this?” Upon reading the lesson you may feel as if it is above their heads or too childish. The truth is this is where one of your most important jobs come in to play. It is up to you to take the lesson provided and make sure that your age group has the opportunity to clearly hear the gospel and respond.

The goal of this post is to help those who teach in the children’s ministry at the North Aiken Church of God take their weekly lesson and adapt it to their age group they have been entrusted to teach.

After going over this material I see you going into your class this Sunday and teaching the Gospel to your students in a way they will be able to understand and implement as they go throughout their week.

What You Need to Know:

1)    You have been entrusted to teach God’s word this week to the children in your care.

  1. You feel called of God to invest in the lives of the students.
  2. Your Pastor has appointed you to instruct them.
  3. The parents of those you are teaching are trusting that you are going to invest in their child’s life.

2)    You have the tools in order to teach the children in your care God’s word.

  1. You have a Bible
  2. A lesson has been prepared
  3. The time you’ve spent alone with God this week has empowered you to be able to teach effectively.

3)    Your life has to set the example

  1. How you live outside of the class points them as to how they are to respond
  2. Your life shows them how to walk (live)
  3. Your life shows them how to work (what they must do)

What You Need to Do

1)    Begin by praying before opening the material

  1. Pray that God would open his word up to you and you would deliver it in a way that is effective.
  2. Pray over each child that will be in your class

2)    Get to know the material

  1. Read the Lesson Title
  2. Look up the passage of scripture that is going to be talked about and read it from your Bible
  3. Read the Big Idea
  4. Look up the memory verse and read it from your Bible

3)    Read through the Bible Lesson from your Outline

  1. 1st read through it just to become familiar with how the writer explained the Bible passage
  2. 2nd read through it and make notes and reword what you feel would help your age group understand the lesson.
  3. 3rd read through it and make notes of things that you can do in order to help your age group comprehend the subject matter. (Such as visuals, actions, or involvement.)

4)    Arrive prepared to teach your lesson

  1. Arrive with a smile on your face ready to teach your Group the truth from God’s word
  2. As you enter the room and set up your area pray over each chair in representation of a child that will be attending.
  3. Prior to service starting until completion of the service find ways to engage in the lives of the Children you have been entrusted to teach.

Remember, your goal is to take the lesson you have been provided and teach it effectively to those in your care. The words you speak and the actions you portray have the opportunity to lead each child in your care closer to making a decision to follow Christ. By following the above approach you will see that you will have a great impact in the lives of your students.

The point is this, God has called you, Your Pastor has appointed you, and the Parents are trusting you, you can teach effectively this week and in the weeks to come.

Today I Begin Fulfilling Preaching Responsiblities For A While at Hardeeville COG

I am looking forward to a great day. Starting this Sunday Morning I will be filling in with the preaching responsibilities at Hardeeville Church of God, in Hardeeville SC until further notice. It is rather a difficult time for the Church and for my family. My Uncle is the Pastor their and he is taking some time off, a sabbatical if you will, due to the fact my Aunt is battling cancer and is in the final stages. It is definitely a difficult time for everyone right now. Unless something miraculous takes place we will lose her company with us here, but heaven will gain a Gem. I am really praying for wisdom and guidance in preaching while I am filling in like never before.

Filling In

Starting this Sunday I will be filling in at Hardeeville Church of God with the Preaching responsibilities until further notice. It’s going to change up my weekly routine just a bit and there are somethings that I was use to having time for that will have to wait in order to make sure I am prepped and ready to go each Sunday. I am thankful to be able to help out but hate the circumstances in which I get to fill in. I am really needing to hear from God over the next few weeks like never before.

Monday Lag

Wow, i am wiped out today. But, its a good wiped. After speaking in both the 11am and 6pm service yesterday i am feeling the lag today. I am pretty sure that when I go into full time pastoral ministry Mondays will be my day away with my wife and kids to relax and recoup from the busy weekend of speaking and pouring out. As much as I would like to slow down and gel for a while today that is not possible due to job obligations, but it would be nice. By the way, there is no words to express how pumped I am even though I am worn out, about the connections and life change that was made yesterday in the lives of those that attended the services. I really cant wait to do this full time!

Holy Interruptions

I like Holy interruptions, I feel we had one of those in service this morning. One of those times where it was needed just to sing the chorus one more time and focus solely on God. I love those times because it reminds you of who is in charge. I want to continually be open to those Holy interruptions. So much can be done in those few minutes where God takes over and peoples worship is filled with Gods Spirit. Holy interruptions are so intimate and rejuvenating. It is my hope that I am always open and sensitive to those Holy interruptions. I think they are needed, but are lacking in most of our lives and Churches.

Leaving Rock Hill

We had a great weekend. Heading back from Rock Hill, after speaking at two services at Friendship Church of God. Lee Ayers has done a great job as Pastor and feel humbled to be able to personally call him friend. After speaking in the Saturday Night Service and this morning I am beat. Even though the trip has tired us out a bit I love traveling and speaking.

Friendship COG has a great heart and is doing a great job to reach their community. From being in a single wide trailer to a permanent facility they have come a long way. It was great to make connections and can’t wait to see what God does among the church in the coming days. They really went out of there way to make us feel welcomed and was very receptive to the word. The way the took care of my family and I, from the room to the meals, speaks volumes about their heart and willingness to serve. What an awesome community of believers.