Ministry Fertilizer

Going.. Going.. foul
June 30, 2008, 11:40 pm
Filed under: Principles of Youth Ministry

I was a little behind in reading the blog entries from one of my closest friends. He is a missionary in China. He currently pastors to churches that are are very close to universities. I love it that he is working with college students. We hung out together on some campuses here in the states together and I would never imagined how much our college ministry experience here would help prepare him what was part of the next step of his life.

Here is a quote from his blog.. (which you need to subscribe to by the way… 

“Sunday was S. and T.’s second time to preach for the whole service. One of them kind of had an emotional, couldn’t-go-on kind of premature ending. The other one went over on his time and would have kept on going if I hadn’t started tapping my invisible wristwatch like I was in a triangle choke. Overall though, I really thought they did great. Anytime you stand to preach, priority number one is content. You can be funny, engaging, compelling, and composed in front of the crowd, but if your content is heretical, out-of-context, or just plain useless, you’re left of center.

[Verily, verily…] It’s like baseball in a way (get ready – here comes the only baseball metaphor I’ll probably ever make – I can’t stand the game). When a guy gets a great hit only to see it fly foul and out into the bleachers, it doesn’t matter how far it was, how high it was, or how many runs it wouldhave been worth! It’s a foul ball – wrong trajectory annuls all the positive value. Thus it be with preaching with a content problem. That’s why I was real happy about their messages. S.’s message was on faith – T.’s on fear. Tied together well, which was good because almost everyone stayed on to hear T. in the second service.”

I really thought that was a great illustration for staying on target when preaching. We all have seen in when a preacher swings for the fence and you hear the crack of the bat but the ball doesn’t go straight. A long foul and a strike are basically the same thing. I know a foul on the 3rd strike gets you another shot at bat. Which I think is very humorous because I believe I have seen people who get many chances at bat because they don’t strike out but hit breath taking long foul balls. (Taking the illustration to far.. I know)

Somethings that have helped me grow and I think will help my students grow.

  • I have some people around me that just simply get to the point when talking to me. They make it clear what I need to do and then give me a chance to respond. My students need that.. they need me to get right to the point and get into their lives.
  • I have a pastor who starts his sermon preparation with the Word of God. He does not start with a funny story, bumper sticker, or even the next holiday. I want my preaching to come from the Text.
  • I want my schedule and goals to be on target tomorrow. I can work hard and even look productive but I want to be on target with the mission of the church.

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