The sermon is the key to the worship service. People like to hear the music and sometimes it can sooth in ways that only music can soothe.
Sometimes prayer touches us in powerful ways. But the key is the sermon. Think about that for a moment. 200, or 100, or 50, or 10000 people sit in front of you to hear a word that is desperately needed this week.
They have come to hear what God has given to you to give to them. Yes, we must spend a lot of time thinking through and planning the rest of the worship service, but we cannot forget how important this word from on high is to your hearers.
On the cross Jesus uttered a fascinating sentence. We find it in Matthew 27:45-46, Jesus said “My God, My God, Why has thou forsaken me?”
If you have been in the church for even a short time you have heard this quoted. Perhaps you have even heard sermons on the subject, but have you thought about that text and what it means about Jesus and what it means for us who find ourselves attempting to preach on this weekend?
Here is Jesus, who the Father calls God in Hebrews 1:8. That Jesus who is fully God is also fully connected to humanity. A connection so strong that he yelled out the cry that we also find in Psalms 22. A connection so strong that he could feel forsakenness.
I have been an assistant for much of my time in ministry. Some pastors have treated me with the utmost respect. I have seen other pastors who treat their assistants almost as slaves, giving them the least desirable jobs and neglecting acknowledgment of the work that they do.
Senior pastors should note that they are not the only ones who are giving their time and energies to the church. Many of these assistants are in part time situations sometimes they are not even be paid at all. But these assistants finish their work in industry and then come to ministry to seek to give their talents to God.
There are, in my estimation, three steps that a senior minister must follow if that minister is to have effective assistant ministers.
In the book Sacred Art: Preaching and Theology in the African American Tradition Olin Moyd quotes Peter T. Forsyth who said: “The Christian preacher is not the successor of the Greek orator, but of the Hebrew prophet. The orator comes with inspiration the prophet comes with a revelation.”