We're in week 8 of "The Story" - a 31 week walk through the Bible, and this week finds us in the time of the Judges. There's lots of rich insight available in this part of the Scriptures. In preparation to preach it, I focused on Gideon. Personally, the story spoke to me about how God chooses the least qualified so that no one can confuse Who should get the credit when the victory is won.
Unfortunately, I didn't feel like the sermon ever got off the ground. It just didn't seem like it was connecting with the congregation. I'll have to do a better job of prayer and preparation this week and ask God to redeem my efforts today. This is where being bivocational is tough. You really have to manage not just your time, but your energy and passion.
Then too, it may be that what I thought were impactful points from the text did not hit the heart of the congregation today. So much of what we do as preachers is just trying to be faithful to the text and to the Spirit. I think I did that, so I guess I should stop whining and trust God. :)
Music - We have been enjoying a return to hymns at New Hope and have really done a good job bringing them to the congregation with our awesome praise band. But "On Jordan's Stormy Banks" never really came together because our timing was all over the board.
The rest of the music - How Can I Keep From Singing, O Praise Him, He's Got the Whole World In His Hands, and Amazing Grace really went well.
In closing, consider this - if God can use cowards, murderers, prostitutes, drunkards, and the like to do great things, why should He use us?
If we are available that is.
Pray for me as I go back to school tomorrow and seek to be God's instrument of grace to the kids. I'm excited to be teaching third grade and am ready to see them achieve everything they possibly can.