For years now I've tried to discipline myself on Saturday nights so that I'm ready to preach on Sunday. This means avoiding certain activities, resting, and getting mentally prepared for the next morning. While this is important, it turns out that I may be a day late.
Darrell Johnson recently gave a series of lectures at Heritage Seminary. In one of the lectures he mentioned that the key preparation day for high-performance athletes is actually two days before the big event. While preachers aren't high-performance athletes (or are we?) the same principle seems to apply. The amount of rest you get on a Friday night, for instance, is going to have a big impact on how alert you feel on Sunday.
If this is important enough for a race or a game, maybe it's worth thinking about for us as well.
Enjoy tonight - but figure out a way to spend Friday nights so that you're mentally and physically prepared for Sunday when it comes.
Karen Stiller (with Willard Metzger) has written a great new book called Going Missional: Conversations with 13 Canadian Churches Who Have Embraced Missional Life. I haven't read the entire book yet, but it looks good so far. It's refreshing to see a book like this written from a Canadian perspective.
I love this passage near the end of the book:
What I heard, over and over again in the interviews I did for this book (and there were 46 of them) was that the teaching and preaching that leads to a church slowly, painfully, awkwardly, turning itself inside out to face the world once again takes time - and it costs. Churches, especially well-established ones who have had a longer time to grow comfortable and cut-off, do not become missional overnight. But, all across Canada, it is happening.
I loan out a lot of books from my library, but I've noticed that there's one that goes out more than most. It's Unpacking Forgiveness: Biblical Answers for Complex Questions and Deep Wounds by Chris Brauns.Here's how it works. The other week I mentioned Chris's book in a sermon. When I was done, someone in the church asked to borrow the book.Other times I'll be counseling someone who is dealing with issues in their relationships. When I suggest that Chris's book may be a good one to read, they jump at the chance.I think I've loaned the book out at least half a dozen times in the past few months. Of course, Chris would be happier if I bought multiple copies rather than just loaning the same ones all the time.If you're a pastor, you really should have a copy of this book in your library. But take my advice and buy two, because if you're like me, you'll need one for yourself and one to share with others in your church.