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Sunday’s Sermon

So tonight I preached/led worship at Northmont again, and I was really nervous.  I remember the only other time I’ve really been nervous preaching at Northmont was January of my first year, when it was my very first time preaching there.  But tonight I was going to hit kind of close to home with some slides showing our churches’ membership loss over the last ten years and the corresponding worship attendance figures (which aren’t nearly as gloomy).  Even though I’ve been there for two years now I still get nervous when I preach sermons that are a little more critical of our church.  At the same time, I didn’t want to come down too hard, because there’s a lot of good that is going on in our church.  So my quandary was how do I balance preaching a sermon on how the world has changed and the church needs to respond without sounding like I’m scolding people.  The answer?  Wait for the Holy Spirit.  

My key insight in tonight’s sermon you’ll only find on the audio recording because it didn’t come to me till I got to the end of my outline and realized I hadn’t wrapped it up at all.  The passage tonight was from Isaiah 40, which is the beginning of Judah’s restoration.  My key insights was that when changes happen God doesn’t get rid of the old and start brand new, he transforms what already is into something new.  So, things are “the same” but different.  In other words, what is is reformed by God into something which is the same but different.  One could say that the Christian church is like this – we’re the same but we’re all different.  This is why in the church history is so important as the “trajectory” from which we come.  We’re not bound to history, it doesn’t dictate to us what we become, but it should inform and guide us.  My other key tonight was to point out in the life of our church where we have responded well to the changing world, which actually was quite easy as we’ve had a group in our church who has become focused on “reaching out” in everything we do.  

Anyway, as usual everything is available @ http://www.wallyandnay.net/Brian/Sermons

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