Summary: This sermon was given at my father’s celebration of ministry service. It has some good illustrative stories as well as an emphasis on being and doing in ministry.
“Are We Really Who We Say We Are?”
For the Celebration of Bud Buchner’s Ministry
Sunday, August 1, 2004 at the First Presbyterian Church in Schoolcraft, Michigan
Purpose: To be the Christian we call ourselves to be, we “do what is our duty to do” (Luke 17:5-10) and “we be whatever/wherever we need to be” (I Corinthians 9:18-22). Bud Buchner exemplified these ideals of doing and being in his ministry.
Good morning !!!
Before we get started with the message this morning, I need to take just a few moments in order to say thanks…
I’m thankful, first and foremost, that I am able, by God’s grace, to be with you today to share
God’s Word with you this morning. One of I was first told of this celebration, I remember telling
Pastor Paula that due to the timing, my involvement might be limited. So, if you have any problems with this, my first Presbyterian sermon, please leave your critiques with Pastor Paula.
Second, I’m grateful for this congregation. While your pastor has told me numerous times that you are blessed by my father’s participation, we, as his family, are also blessed, knowing that there is a welcoming part of body of Christ who not only opened their doors, but showed the hospitality to a stranger as if he was a long-time member of this family. On behalf of our family, thank you for accepting one of our own as one of your own.
Third, as a person of faith, I need to give thanks to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Who took this food retail manager through seven years of learning about people and developing management skills in the Meijers and D&W Food Centers of this world, and gave me the call to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. I am nothing special. I am a sinner. I struggle each day with temptation, and I am often confused over what God’s Will is and will be for my future.
But, praise be to God, I am a sinner saved by grace. And no matter how confused I may be, or how many struggles I face, or how many times I fail to be what God has created me to be, I know beyond all shadows of all doubt, that my God loves me, and through the acts of his Son, Jesus Christ and my statement of faith, I am assured of my salvation.
If you hear nothing else today, please hear this. The good news is that Jesus Christ died for each one of us before we even had the opportunity to know him, while we were yet sinners. This proves his love for us.
In the name of Jesus Christ, we who have accepted him, live in his forgiveness and in the guidance of the Holy Spirit, as we continue to do ministry and be in ministry to those who need that same forgiveness and guidance, wherever that may take us.
Well, you’re probably thinking, was does all this have to do with Bud. It’s simply this…I am my father’s son. Much of how I think about God and how that affects the way I do ministry, comes directly from my father’s teaching. After 18 years of sermons, I think a little bit of it sunk in.
And today, we come here to recognize that maybe just a little bit, if not a whole lot more of this man’s ministry, has sunk into each of us.
Let me be clear, I don’t plan on putting my father on any pedestal. I don’t preach Bud Buchner. I preach Jesus Christ. My father has made a slew of mistakes, he is not perfect, but he does follow the One who is.
What I hope to communicate, however, will be a clear, Biblical, Christ-centered message that talks about the doing and being of the personal ministries that Christ has called each Christian to.
We will examine the Scriptures together. I will share with you some of the stories from my father’s ministry, and how Dad did and still doing and being what he believes God is calling him to do and be. In a way, he has always tried to be what he says he is. The same should be said of us. Hence our title this morning…are we really who we say we are?
Will you join me in prayer?
Lord, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of each and every heart here in this very moment, be found acceptable in your sight. May my words be yours. And if any of mine happen to sneak through, may those words fall on deaf ears. Let the words of your Spirit and only your Spirit be heard as we proceed in examining your Word together.