Archive for the ‘Sunday’ Category

Messages

For what it’s worth, I post my messages in written for to oakleafgroups.com.  Pretty soon, our small groups pastor will also post PDF versions of small group material based on these messages.  You can also check our out podcast to listen in to Sundays @ Oak Leaf.  Just click the podcast button at oakleafchurch.com.

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The Sermon isn’t the Message

I’ve come to realize this over the years, and seen this principle at work the last couple of weeks.  Most people think that the sermon is the message for the day.

But in reality, the message is everything that your Sunday morning experience communicates to people.  We begin Sunday planning by listening to God, and then answering this question "what one thing to we want to communicate to our people this week."  Then we build the music, video, graphics and the message around that.  The message is one element in the service.  The sermon is part of the overall message.  The message that you’re sending or giving people starts in your lobby, or even in the parking lot.

During our current series called Mythbusters, we set up scaffolding outside and on the stage.  We put greeters in hardhats.  Then for the particular myth "Jesus is my best friend," we wanted to communicate the greatness of God.  I talked about worshipping God with fear and awe.  We used pictures of the universe.  We sang "Indescribible" and "How Great is our God" during a worship set after the talk.  We gave people a picture of a spirial galazy with a Bible verse printed on it.  We used a video called "That’s my King."  We worked hard to make sure every element communicated the message.  Because the message is not just the sermon.

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The Goal of Sunday

I
read a great book called Church Marketing 101 by Richard Reising
(review to come soon).  Here’s a great quote:

"I am convinced of one thing.  If members walk out of your service
saying, "I wish my unsaved friend had been here," they will start to
think about inviting their friend."

I had no idea who would show up to our first servides.  I didn’t set a numbers goal.  I don’t think our church will ever set
attendance goals.  But one of my goals is to have a
service that makes people think, "I wish I had invited so-and-so."  If
they think that…they will invite them next time.

If we have to beg, plead, or bribe our people to invite
people…then we’re doing something wrong.  We’re going to concentrate
on making the service good, the atmosphere inviting, and exceed
expectations.  We’re going to put on a service that’s worth inviting
people to!

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