Summary: A heartfelt sermon as I resigned from a church to accept a call from another church.
Sermon for 8/15/2010
Conflicts are not uncommon, but when the preacher and song leader get into it, stand aside. One week, the preacher preached on commitment, and how we should move forward into doing service for others. After this sermon, the song leader led the congregation in singing, I Shall Not Be Moved. The next Sunday, the preacher preached on giving and how we should gladly give to the work of the Lord. The song leader then led the song, Jesus Paid It All. The next Sunday, the preacher preached on gossiping and how we should watch our tongues. The hymn was I Love To Tell The Story. The preacher became disgusted over the situation and, the next Sunday, he told the congregation he was considering resigning. The congregation then sang Oh, Why Not Tonight. When the preacher resigned the next week, he told the church that Jesus had led him there and Jesus was taking him away. The song leader then sang What a Friend We Have in Jesus.
A. A church in Indiana, Pleasant Ridge Church of Christ, near Cincinnati, has offered me the position of being their preacher. As of Tuesday night, I accepted their offer.
B. My family and I have been praying for God’s direction and we want to do His will for our lives. We have sensed the need for a change in our lives and in the ministry of the church here. This church in Indiana is where the Lord has led us. We will be leaving in 2 weeks, my last Sunday being August 29.
C. This church in Indiana is an answer to our prayers. This new position in Indiana will get us much closer to my family. My dad will be 2 hours away. My grandmother will be 4 hours away. The plan for my mother is for her husband Lou to retire in 2 years and they will move back to Indiana. Crystal’s parents are from Kentucky and they still have family there. They love to travel and so they can visit their brothers and sisters and then come a couple hours farther north and visit us. We have the desire to be closer to family. Difficult to be 16 hours away.
D. Another answer to prayer is that this church in Indiana has agreed to pay for my schooling to get a Master’s Degree. I was trained to be a youth minister and so I didn’t take all the courses that I now know would have been good for me. Also, I have done some volunteer hospice work while I have been here and this additional schooling would help if the Lord leads me into chaplaincy with hospice in the far future.
E. I know there are many concerns when a change like this happens.
Thesis: Let me answer some of those concerns from 1 Corinthians 2.
A. Lot here but I want us to focus on vs. 3.
B. From Acts we know that when the Lord led Paul and his companions to Macedonia and Greece, they first spent some time in Philippi. There, the first convert in Europe, Lydia, was baptized. A short time after this, Paul and Silas were in prison for helping a slave girl, and they were praying and singing to God and there was an earthquake. The jailor came in and thinking everyone had escaped, he was going to kill himself. Paul and Silas talked with him about the Lord Jesus Christ and he and his family were baptized. A short time after this, Paul and his companions went to Thessalonica and had a fruitful but short ministry there. It was so successful that it stirred up the Jews to riot. Because of this disturbance, Paul and Silas went to Berea and started to minister there. When the Jews in Thessalonica heard that Paul and Silas were in Berea, they went there and caused a lot of problems. Because of this we read,
C. Read Acts 17:14-16. This seems to be a difficult time for the apostle Paul. 2 reasons:
1. Athens was a difficult place to be a preacher of the gospel. Much discussion and debate but not a lot of converts. They made fun of him and his ideas.
2. He was alone. We think of the apostle Paul going to foreign lands to spread the gospel but he wasn’t alone. He always had fellow laborers with him. During this time, those companions are in the towns where he had to leave because of problems.
D. Pick up in Acts 18:1. Remember he is still alone.
E. Acts 18:2-3. He is starting to get back to his normal self. He was out of money and had to make tents. But now he has some fellow laborers, Aquila and Priscilla, and not just in Christ but also in tent making.