Sermon Podcast Recommendations

February 24, 2020

Sermon Podcast Recomendations

I recently had someone text me and ask for some advice. They wanted a Bible study podcast to listen to. I could not think of any. I actually think an audio version of a Bible study would be difficult to do well.

I could, however, think of several pastors who preach the Word of God in a powerful way that could meet the need of someone who enjoys listening. Here is a brief list with the iTunes links to their sermons. Most of these are available on multiple podcasts apps.

  1. Tara Beth Leach is the pastor at First Church of the Nazarene in Pasadena, CA. She is a powerful and engaging preacher. She has started 2020 preaching on joy but has had to write several of these sermons from the hospital. Hear how God is showing her and her church what joy means. iTunes Podcasts 
  2. Shane Bishop is the pastor of Christ Church, a United Methodist church, in Fairview, IL. He has a long tenure, serving since 1997. He proudly proclaims the Bible to win souls to Jesus. iTunes Podcasts
  3. Jorge Acevedo is the pastor at Grace Church, a United Methodist church in the Ft. Meyers, FL area. Jorge is a winsome communicator with a heart for recovery. I really enjoy his messages and positive attitude. iTunes Podcasts
  4. Jessica LaGrone is the Dean of the Chapel at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. She doesn’t preach every week but every time she preaches it will move you. She is one of the most powerful preachers I know of. iTunes Podcasts

Wow! This was way harder than I thought. I could have easily added another 20 to this list but I don’t want to overwhelm anyone starting out listening to sermons.

Who is your “go to” preacher you recommend when someone asks?

How to Go Deeper this Lent

February 20, 2020

Go Deeper Lent

 

“Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection.” – United Methodist Book of Worship

How can you get the most out of Lent? Here are six helpful tips.

  1. Read the Seedbed Daily Text or another devotional guide. If I am traveling and can’t find my Bible or if I get into a rut, my go to devotional is the Seedbed Daily Text. It is a short scripture based devotion. During lent find a way each day to get in touch with the scriptures.
  2. Read through a Gospel. If you want something different from a devotion you should read through a Gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) in a Bible. I know reading the Bible can be a challenge. I have a whole podcast on it. A great place to start is with a Gospel. Read half a chapter a day and see how far you can get before Easter.
  3. Spend some time in prayer. One of the best things we can do is stop and pray. I challenged my church to set a phone alarm for 12:12p.m. Each day when it goes off just stop and say a quick prayer to God. I am amazed at the difference it has made in my life.
  4. Listen to some spiritual music. Listening to Christian music is a lot easier than it used to be. I remember buying my first Third Day CD at the Cordele, GA Wal-Mart. Now you can listen on your phone for free (with commercials). I use the Pandora app. I have stations that play hymns, contemporary Christian music, and instrumental Christian music. Even if it is just playing in the background it makes a difference.
  5. Come to Church. No really, come to church. Come check out an Ash Wednesday service, especially if you have never been. It is one of the most meaningful moments of the Christian year. Also, check out Sunday worship at a local church during lent.
  6. Develop a long range view of spiritual formation. One of the challenges with “to do” lists like this is we think, “if I check off everything I will arrive at some perfect level.” These actually are not quick fixes as much as they are about developing spiritual formation habits for the rest of your life. Check out this 3 minute video by Dr. Brian Russell about playing the long game with spiritual formation.

Bonus tip: Let these practices guide you into serving/loving others. My hope is these inner personal habits will lead you to an outward service of loving your neighbor!

More Lent Resources

New Church Name

Most likely there are several United Methodist churches that will no longer be United Methodist a year from now. Yes, it’s sad and frustrating. There are reasons to be concerned and reasons to be optimistic.

One practical thing these churches will have to do is find a new name for their church. Here are a few random thoughts for the process:

  1. You do not have to lead with whatever your new denominational name is. My current church is Twin City United Methodist Church. We could easily just change to Twin City [insert new denomination title here]. But here is the key, you do not have to! You could be New Cool Jesus Soaked Church, a [insert new denomination title here] church. This way you can lead with whatever descriptor best fits your church. For some that may be to stick with the former example but for others you could go with the latter.
  2. You can start re-branding now! I recently have just started asking people, “what should we call our church next?” Here’s why: what if we had our new church name and were developing our identity at the same time our new denomination was forming? I already hear you push back, “That’s too much at once!” Maybe you are right. But what if the re-branding process helped us remember that our local church ministry was just as important as our denominational affiliation? What if re-branding made it easier to cast vision for the local church’s future in a new denomination?
  3. Your church has had several names before. My current church was a Wesleyan Society, Summit and Graymont Methodist Episcopal Church South, Twin City Methodist Church(Summit and Graymont combined cities!), and Twin City United Methodist… at least this many names. Who knows? We may even have several more names before God is done with us. Name changes are not new to our church. Changing our name has been a part of our DNA.
  4. Remind your church they are picking the name. I already have the perfect name picked out… at least until I find my next favorite perfect name. Guess what though? I am not the one who is picking the name. Our church will pick the name together. It will be a collaborative and prayerful process.
  5. Mission is most important. At the end of the day, the name is not what is most important. Our church has a history of worship and serving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior under many different church names. We will continue to serve and love our neighbors! As I like to say after updates to my church on what is happening, “denominations may crumble and fall into the sea but God will still remain.”

So does your church have a process for it’s upcoming name change? Am I way over my skis just asking this? I’d love to hear your thoughts!