1. This Sunday’s message is from Esther chapter 4. The title is: When Facing a Defining Moment. Esther’s true colors show, faith and courage, when she faced her own defining moment. As I was preparing the message this week, I had a few moments in which I was deeply moved by the text. God really does quicken His Word to those whose hearts are open to it. His Word is sweeter than honey (Psalms 119:103).
2. My staff pinned me down in the hallway today insisting that I speak longer each Sunday. Typically I teach for 30-35 minutes (although I’ve gone about 40 minutes the last three weeks). I’ve always thought it is better to stop talking with people wanting more, than it is to keep on talking and them wanting me to stop. Long-winded preachers can be such a bore sometimes.
However in this instance, the staff initiated this discussion. They said 30 minutes is not enough for them, as well as many others in our congregation. They also said that the series on Esther has been particularly interesting, and that the last three weeks of going 40+ minutes was better, so I should extend the message for that reason too. So I have agreed to give it a try.
3. Lately I’ve been rushing through the offering talk. Big mistake. It communicates to everyone that this is something we have to do, but don’t like to do, so let’s get it over as quickly as possible. Not good. Instead, we are going to slow down right there and focus our attention on that component of the service. My offering talks will be more fully developed, and I’ll take all the time I need to say what needs to be said.
Never forget, what we put in the offering is just as much an act of worship and an expression of devotion as the songs we sing, or the lifting of our hands, or the Scriptures we study in the service. That’s why it should be emphasized, not hurried through.
4. We have added even more chairs to the sanctuary this week. Arrive early to get a good seat. If you are a regular attender at PCC, please move as far forward as possible. This will be a big help to us.
5. On a personal note, I need to establish new boundaries in my life. Ambition is a good thing. Drive is a good thing. Hard work is a good thing. The ministry is a good thing. Leisure, rest, and play are good things. But there are limits to each. Myself, I’m over my limit regarding work. Burnout is just around the corner if I don’t do something. So I’m taking a hard look at things like my schedule, office hours, responsibilities, and other duties. Adjustments will be made in my role at PCC pretty soon. But for now, this much I know: I am going to establish a healthier pace for myself. I'm going to add "margin" into my life. And I'm taking some time off. If I crash and burn my ministry would end anyway, so I'm going to take better care of myself.
See you Sunday!
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