Summary: Monday morning is often a time when pastors do an autopsy of the weekend's sermon/s. Sometimes as we talk with other pastors on the phone the question is asked - how's your services? But what is it that constitutes a great Sunday service?
“A Great Sunday service”
Intro: What are the components of a great Sunday service?
Pastors have a bit of a tradition of the Monday morning autopsy.
How was Sunday services? Great ….. I preached on …… 2 saved, everyone came to church!
Let me tell you that’s a rarer report than you can imagine!
Quite often it’s a matter of I preached, God was stirring me about the message but …..
Often seems as though the stirring from God doesn’t match / correlate w/ the stirring of the people’s hearts.
There’s no doubt about the fact that we can’t live & die after each Sunday.
Otherwise you might have to raise your pastor from the dead several times a year after the weekend.
But I do believe that there are a number of components that add to / constitute a good service where God comes down, a rhema is ministered & people leave church knowing that God met w/ them.
A great Sunday service is not just a service where people say – praise God that’s it for another Sunday but when God’s people leave in triumph knowing God came down & met w/ them.
So let’s consider some of the elements of a great Sunday service.
My message this morning is entitled ‘A great Sunday service’.
Text: Ezra 10:1-12 ( GWT ) 1While Ezra was praying, confessing these sins, crying, and throwing himself down in front of God’s temple, a large crowd of Israelite men, women, and children gathered around him. They also began to cry bitterly. 2Then Secaniah, son of Jehiel, one of the descendants of Elam, interrupted by saying to Ezra, “We have been unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women who came from the people around us. However, there is still hope for Israel. 3So we must now make a promise to our God to get rid of all foreign women and the children born from them, as my lord Ezra and the others who tremble at the commandments of our God have advised us to do. We must do what Moses’ Teachings tell us. 4Get up! It’s your duty to take action. We are with you, so be strong and take action.” 5Then Ezra got up and made the leaders, priests, Levites, and all the rest of Israel swear to do what they had said. So they took an oath. 6Then Ezra left the front of God’s temple and went to the room of Jehohanan, son of Eliashib. Ezra didn’t eat any food or drink any water while he was there. He was mourning because these former exiles had been so unfaithful. 7Then he sent a proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem that all the former exiles must gather in Jerusalem. 8If any of them didn’t come within three days as the leaders and the older men had advised, then they would lose all their property and be excluded from the community of former exiles. 9Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered within three days in Jerusalem. On the twentieth day of the ninth month, all the people sat in the courtyard of God’s temple. They were trembling because of this matter and shivering because of the heavy rain. 10Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have been unfaithful by marrying foreign women, and now you have added to Israel’s guilt. 11Confess to the LORD God of your ancestors what you have done, and do what he wants. Separate yourselves from the people of this land and from your foreign wives.” 12Then the whole assembly shouted in reply, “Yes! We will do as you say.
# 1. The preparation for the sermon.
A. Here we see Ezra in sermon preparation mode.
a. Here is the man of God w/ a message from God stirring in his heart.
i. And its obviously a heavy message that God is dealing w/ him about preaching …..
Vs 1. 1While Ezra was praying, confessing these sins, crying, and throwing himself down in front of God’s temple, ….
*** 2½ year old JL came running out of the nursery screaming this morning & fell on his face on the carpet continuing to scream. What ails him so? The big issue was that he had to go into nursery!!!
I have to admit it was hilarious!
But we all know that it’s a different thing when a grown man behaves like that!!!
ii. This is something like what we saw Ezra doing in our text. Wait troubles him so? …… What aileth thee Ezra? Man! What is it about Sunday’s sermon?
iii. Maybe he’s wrestling w/ some tough things he has to preach in Sunday service!!!
iv. But the truth is that is going to be what’s happening in the preacher b/4 Sunday service ….. in any gospel preaching church!