THERE IS A BETTER WAY
I once read a story of a man who would prepare his sermon on a serviette, and he’d do this during worship! And he’d do this every single Sunday! Sounds spiritual hey? You may be wondering why aren’t we all like that?
Does the Holy Spirit only move right before we are going to preach or sing, or can He also speak days, weeks, even months ahead of time?
Does having no plan in place mean we are leaving more room for the Holy Spirit?
Does having a plan in place mean we are leaving no room for the Holy Spirit?
What if we never planned and just left everything up to God?
“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.”
We must find a balance.
Yes, victory rests with the Lord, BUT we prepare the horse.
It’s like not studying for an exam and saying, “Well if it’s the Lord’s will, I will pass.”
When it comes to a Sunday meeting, there is preparation that needs to take place — that’s what we do. But there also needs to be a trusting in God, in the victory and work only He can do.
I want to cover 4 areas of a Sunday meeting:
1. You might say … we don’t need any leadership on a Sunday.
- People can arrive a few hours early and start singing.
- And then during the meeting, if anyone wants to sing a song or share a testimony, that’s fine. They’ve obviously heard God so who am I to stop them? It’s the Holy Spirit who’s leading the meeting after all.
- We say we start at 10am, but we don’t really. It’s just a rough guesstimate.
- The pastor only arrives at 11am, so why the rush?
- And when he arrives, that’s when the real worship starts.
1 Peter 5:1-2
“So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you…”
- Shepherd who? The flock that is among you. Not the flock down the road, or the flock you wish you had. No. The flock around you.
- How? Exercising oversight.
2 Timothy 4
“I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage…”
- Don’t be scared to correct or rebuke because you’re afraid people will leave.
- Sunday leadership:
- Who is actually leading the meeting?
- Talk during the week with the people involved;
- Worship leader, preacher, MC etc. Get on the same page.
- Topic? Order and direction of meeting? Baptisms? Communion? Guest speaker?
- Agree on a start and ending time. And stick to it.
- You can’t wait forever for the Holy Spirit to come.
- If the meeting does go over time, communicate this. You can tell the people that your meeting has ended and that they’re free to go, but they are welcome to stick around.
2. You might say … We don’t need to talk preparation.
- It’s all about your heart.
- You may not spend anytime preparing at all.
- Worship leaders — you throw your music file into the air and the sheets that land closest to you are the ones God wants you to sing.
- Preachers — you’re like that man who prepares his sermon on a serviette. Or you just flip your Bible open and wherever it lands is what you preach on.
- We MUST prepare.
- Who says the Holy Spirit can’t tell you what to preach next week or even next month already?
- Preparation is “5 loaves and 2 fish”. Jesus could have made bread and fish appear out of nowhere, but He chose to use what the disciples or the boy brought Him.
- We also need to look into the theology of our songs.
- Ask yourself, what or who are we actually singing about?
- Are we singing about “walking in thorns on my way to church” or are we singing songs that glorify the name of Jesus?
- We cannot use the Holy Spirit as an excuse for laziness.
- Work as though everything depended on you, but pray as though everything depended on the Holy Spirit.
3. You might say … Anyone can participate.
- You hear someone can play keyboard really well, and so you ask him to play next week even though you don’t know him at all. Who cares. God obviously sent him to us.
- You also don’t know where you’re going to get the money to pay him.
- And a few weeks later the church down the road offers him more money and he leaves.
- Who needs to worry about his character or personal life. Have you heard this guy play?!
- Have to have an “entry point” for people who want to get involved.
- Ask questions like why do you want to get involved; what gifting do you feel you have?
- We have a small form that people complete.
- Meet with the new person over coffee. Get to know him and let him get to know you.
- Communicate your expectations upfront.
4. You might say .. When it comes to sound, the cheaper and the louder the better.
- I can’t afford the stuff I see on TV, so I’ll just buy whatever from Trash Crusaders.
- People need to be trained and loved which I don’t have the time to do, so anyone who sticks their hand up is it.
- And who needs training anyway? It’s just turning a few buttons. How hard can it be?
- And remember, God is waaaaaay up in Heaven, so sound man, you better crank that dial to 10! Actually, turn it up full and break the knob off.
- And put the guest preacher’s chair right in front of the main speakers too. We want him to hear the worship first!
- Invest in the best equipment you can afford.
- Take care of the equipment you have.
- Take care of the people you have.
- Have your guys trained.
- We are going to a church in Eshowe this weekend. They gave us a budget for new sound equipment after getting quotes from a few companies in Jhb. We managed to get them better equipment for half the price!
- I am putting this out there: If your guys need training or if you’re looking to purchase new gear, come talk to me.
We must be a people who LEAD.
We must be a people who PREPARE.
We must be a people who PLAN.
We must be a people who INVEST.