Wednesday, March 22, 2006

40 Days of Purpose -Discipleship


Passage: Romans 8:28-29
Originally Preached: 19/03/06 - 6:30pm Service - St Stephen's Anglican, Belrose
Series: 40 Days of Purpose

Description: You were created to become like Christ

Comment: This was one of the strangest sermons to prepare I have ever had to do. The 40 Days of Purpose model is that Churches are given masses of resources so that they have everything they need to run the 40 Days of Purpose. They are given all the teaching, and teaching materials they need fir a 40 day program, all they need to do is facilitate the meetings, and the videos and work books do the rest.

For the more autonomous church they can take the transcripts of the teaching and make it their own. This is what we did. I was given a sixteen page Rick Warren sermon and had to adapt it so that I could preach it. I had to keep his three main points and some of his application but I could do what I wanted with the rest. It was a really hard exercise. Partly because it's hard to make someone else's work your own. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree just making what they said be what you want to say is hard. Then you also have to work out if you agree with what they said.

Rick Warren's sermon didn't have anything in it I really disagreed with, he just didn't do things that way I would have done them. But after much wrestling with the stuff I had to work with I came up with a message I was rather happy with and stayed true to at least the points and most of the main thrust of Warren's message.

This particular sermon was the third time I had preached it that day. This was the first time I had done all three services in one day and it was an interesting experience. I had been warned many times that I would be completely stuffed by the time I got to the 6:30pm service. And I was. I'm not sure if that's because I had already preached twice before that day, or because I had been up since 5am to work on the sermon, and had less than 5 hours sleep in an uncomfortable bed. Probably a combination of the two.

You can see my tiredness come through as I stumbled over the words a bit more than normal here and there. But the benefits of having done it twice already come out in that I knew the material better and I was able to give myself over to the message as a result. I've had two outings already to "own" the sermon, I think this was the best sermon of the day.

In the Temptation illustration I used a puppet, because I thought it'd be fun. It worked in the 6:30 crowd, in the 10am congregation they seemed a little perplexed by a puppet popping up in the middle of a sermon. I don't think that happens very often in their sermons. I reckon I might be the only person to use a puppet to do an illustration for them during one of the 40 DOP messages. But I have no way of checking it. Anyway I did enjoy the puppet. He lightened the mood of what wasn't a particularly cheery message.

All up this was an ok message. It was hard to do, but it came out alright. I'm glad I don't have to preach this way all the time.

If you want to hear someone else's version of this same message go here:


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