| Preaching tomorrow|
I'm preaching tomorrow at the ISCF (Inter School Christian Fellowship) in my town. We used to have a group of Christian Unions that were thriving and keen to seek after God, now, for whatever reason there is only a small remnant of believers in even the most open schools, and there's a chance "ISCF" will just fade out this year.
The topic they've asked me to speak on is 'How to grow your CU (Christian Union)' which really grates with my spirit in that it focuses on the number of people rather than on pleasing the Lord.
Additionally I've been reading the 'Mystery of Preaching' chapter of Apostolic Foundations by Art Katz and, whilst I feel it sums up all I've ever felt preaching is and seems true to my experience; the weight of importance it places on the the one that brings the Word and him being in tune with and open to be used by God to bring the very word of Christ Himself makes me desperate for prayer, that ALL that God could say through this meeting is said.
I don't feel I've spent as much time preparing my heart as I could these last weeks or even this evening, but I'm asking the Lord that He would move by His grace anyway - because it's not about me.
Yours in Christ,
| 2009/3/16 18:22||Profile|
Phoenix, Arizona USA
| Re: Preaching tomorrow|
How to grow your CU...Art Katz
In trying to picture how Art would preach on growth, the following verse from our Lord came to mind, John 12:24.
Anyway, I will pray that God might use this opportunity to bring glory to His name.
| 2009/3/16 20:02||Profile|
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I will pray into that Scripture, it seemed to resonate with me as I read it.
| 2009/3/16 20:16||Profile|
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Hmm, I really feel tonight will be a prophetic night for these youth meetings and Christian Unions in my town. Either they turn back to God and seek His face or I expect 'ISCF' and the Christian Unions will continue to diminish.
Lord, have mercy on us tonight - please speak to your people.
Sorry if I'm posting in this thread to much, I just felt to share these thoughts and feelings that are in my spirit.
| 2009/3/17 8:52||Profile|
| Re: |
Sorry to 'bump' this, I feel it would be out of turn if I only posted the request and not the response for those that prayed.
In His grace, the Lord had a message and a plan for the young people at ISCF. Not many turned up, beyond the leaders and core people involved. The sermon/rebuke started early, with the way the leaders were discussing 'the worship' at the start causing my spirit to cringe inside of me.
It was all about whether they should have words on a screen or not have words, or plan songs, or not plan songs. They came to a compromise to start with 3 planned songs [i]then[/i] just leave it to the Lord.
Eventually I had to speak for fear of exploding internally, and mentioned that worship that has attached to it a sense of 'failure' or 'success' on behalf of the leaders, depending on how it goes down with the people, is not worship. In fact, we've totally missed the whole point of meeting together IN HIS NAME!
The Lord expounded further through me and the young leaders responded with humility, feeling that the Lord had maybe sent me to teach THEM rather than the CU leaders they thought needed teaching.
I preached at the start, and the Lord started to undo a lot of the dependence on human effort. In Acts the church turned the world upside down, today the church has turned back up the other way again to fit in with the world!
What was sad was how the two adults seemed to respond. They responded pleasantly, but when one said "Good word, Adam", something in my spirit BROKE - it was as if just that compliment was enough to attribute the word to 'Adam' rather than God, and that then brought down it's need for consideration from God's gracious discipline to Adam's thoughts and suggestions! (Does that make sense?!)
It then got worse, in that the adults then proceeded to say "Anyway, I want to hear about the good stuff that's going on!" (as if the talk was negative). They also put an emphasis on finding out the numbers that attended each CU meeting, the very thing I felt the Lord was undoing through the Word.
It was positive though, the actually leaders said they felt God had spoken into circumstances I could never have known about, and that it challenged so much of what they were doing they didn't even know where to start. Sadly the advice they were being given to keep the network a 'success' was to print more fliers, have more structure and tell people the event time earlier.
No wonder the young generations and leaders struggle when their adults are giving them marketing strategies instead of encouragement towards holiness!
Ron, that scripture came to mind halfway through the sermon - thank you for sharing, I feel the Lord spoke to me (and them!) through you.
| 2009/3/26 21:47||Profile|