My primary passion in life is to help people become more like Jesus. There is no greater joy for me than seeing people change to be more like Him. That’s why I do what I do as a pastor, to help people grow and mature spiritually. And one of the ways that God transforms our lives is through His word. Paul said, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Romans 10: 17). God’s word is extremely vital and essential in our spiritual transformation. Without it you cannot grow spiritually!
Since I know the significance of God’s word in our life, I take message preparation very seriously. I invest anywhere from 12-15 hours to prepare for each Sunday worship message. I can honestly say to all of you that I have never winged it in the past six years that I have served as a pastor of New Life.
I don’t know if you have noticed this about my preaching style, but I stick closely to the text of the Scripture. I explain and unpack the given passage to you, help you see the biblical principles and then draw out application points from it. This is called expository preaching. I rarely pick a topic that I want to address to you, select a verse or two that would back up what I want to say and then preach. This way of preaching is dangerous because the speaker tends to select those verses and passages to back up what he wants to say. Due to my commitment to expository preaching, we were able to study and finish Mark, Ruth, Ecclesiastes, 1 John, Genesis 1-3, John and Philemon. I think I am giving you a substantial spiritual diet through the Sunday messages.
However, it is good to hear other great preachers speak and learn from them. That’s why I always keep my eyes open to see whom I could invite to New Life that could benefit us through different passion and preaching style, and we have already had several guest speakers come to us this year giving us good messages. Wasn’t Warren great last Sunday?
When the speakers come, we show our appreciation to them by giving them $200 as honorarium. Now, this is not much considering the fact that they spend about 12-15 hours to prepare for a message. If the guest speaker happens to be a local church pastor, this works fine because he has a pastorate position where he gets compensated for his ministry. However, when the speaker happens to be a missionary or someone who is about to go on a mission field, my heart goes out to them because they must raise their support all by themselves unless they are denominational missionaries. This often is a daunting task, and giving them a $200 honorarium is just too little!
Therefore, I am asking you to seriously consider giving a five-dollar offering for those missionaries who come to New Life to give messages. Our team leaders and I will make sure that we invite only sincere and authentic missionary speakers whose heart and passion are similar to New Life’s. And I will remind you to prepare a five-dollar missionary offering one week before the guest speaker comes to New Life through the Sunday worship service bulletin. Trusting that you all gave five dollars each, we will count the total attendance of that day when the guest speaker shares a message with us, multiply that by five and give the total amount to the missionary speaker as an honorarium. Because of the size of our congregation, which runs about 250 these days, we could easily provide those precious missionaries with about $1,200 when they come and visit New Life. This will be a great source of encouragement to them, and when the missionaries get encouraged, the Kingdom of God benefits greatly!
Five dollars really isn’t much to us. It is the cost of one value meal. And we won’t be doing this every Sunday. At most it will happen 6-12 times a year. But if we all chip in a little, the little that we give will become great in God’s eyes!
I trust that you are in agreement with me on this. And once again, thank you in advance for your generosity!
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