Friday, April 29, 2011

Why you should take more risks this Sunday

I've been reading Will Willimon's, Calling and Character, a book on clergy ethics.  Far from being a dry read as the topic might imply, Willimon's words have deeply challenged me - especially his call for preachers to be bolder.  The resurrection of Jesus demands bold preaching.  He writes, "We ought to preach in such a way that, if Jesus has not been raised from the dead, then our sermons are utterly incomprehensible."  Later he broadens that challenge to include our entire ministries, "We ought to minister in such a reckless, utterly-dependent-upon-God sort of way that, if God has not vindicated the peculiar way of Jesus by raising him from the dead, then our ministry is ridiculous."

So, looking over your sermon for this Sunday, would your words make sense to your congregation without the reality of the resurrection?  Many sermons would - those, "here's a way to be a slightly better person than you were last week" kind of sermons.  The resurrection means more than that.  Maybe it's time for rewrite.  Maybe it's time to take some bigger risks.

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