I don’t often get asked to visit another church for the purposes of preaching (except by the people from our church!). But tomorrow is different. I have been invited by the leaders of Ridge Community Church to speak at their Pastor Appreciation Day! I am quite excited about it. Here’s why:
- I know and love their pastor, Steve Thompson. Steve and I went to school together. I have admired him for years. He and Teresa and Letha and I are close. They are the real deal – I find it easy to honor them.
- Ridge Community conducts one service, beginning at 10:00. I am accustomed to preaching 3 times every Sunday morning, with the first service at 8:00. This will feel like a mini-vacation. I will, however, pour as much of myself into the one message that I generally put into 3. (Hope I don’t preach for 1 ½ hours!)
- Our church is in good hands. Richard, our Missional Pastor, is preaching at Cross Community tomorrow. He is an excellent speaker and I know his topic for tomorrow. It will be great!
- There is not as much pressure. One of the nice things about being a guest speaker is, people are more tolerant of you. If I say something that the people do not like, I don’t expect any emails, phone calls or nasty anonymous letters. And I really hope that no one will leave the church because of something I do or say tomorrow. Each week, I live with this reality. It doesn’t happen very often but it does happen. This Sunday, if they don’t like me, all they have to do is be patient – I’ll be gone in a few hours!
- It is affirming to be asked. It feels nice to be trusted enough to be asked to preach. I don’t take that for granted. I am honored.
Say a prayer for me and Letha, for Steve and Teresa Thompson and for Ridge Community Church. I think it’s going to be a lovely day.