Pastor's Corner
“[P]reach the word, …convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching.  …[D]o the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.”
                                                   -2 Timothy 4:2, 5                                                                                  

One-hundred and eighty-two… plus or minus.  That is the number of sermons you have heard from my heart here at Franklin Presbyterian Church.  That’s a lot of preaching… and at twenty minutes per sermon, that’s over sixty hours of preaching.  A lot of good napping time for some.
     I’m kidding about the last part… hope you are too.
     The reason I point this out is that when God called me to become a minister, he made it clear: that gift for trying cases, arguing for causes, fighting for clients and trying to win their court room battles… all were gifts from above.
     His gifts.  He put it into the depth of my heart nearly 20 years ago that it was time to use His gifts to preach and teach the gospel.
     And it is an unadulterated joy to do so in our church; to study, read, analyze, write, rewrite, rewrite again (and again) … each sermon so that we can get closer, together, to God’s truth each week.
    It fills me with a passion I cannot describe.  This is centered on a heart-felt need to teach.  What any public speaking is, in reality, is teaching; teaching an idea, a stand, a theological subject to others, in the love and hope that all will grow.
     That is what I thought about when I was reading 2 Timothy the other day and came across the words written above.  Paul tells ministers (and all Christians, really) to preach and teach the word.
     There is a basic reason for this.  The Bible tells us that, “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”  Pretty clear, isn’t it?  While reading the word is good for us all, it is through hearing it that the word comes alive.
      This is why God has moved me to so love preaching and teaching, from the pulpit, during the youth sermon, and at every Bible Study (which explains why we have two a year these days!).
     I would like to get us all involved in this process.  Some of you have asked that we have more sermon series, just as we did with one of the gospels and the series on the Christianity of our founding fathers.
     That is a wonderful suggestion, and I am all in!
     In the coming weeks, you will find a form in the bulletin that you can fill out with any suggestion for a series of sermons.  Please fill it out and leave it in the collection plate of office if you have:
A book of the Bible you’d like to know more about.
A question or issue you’d like to explore from the Christian perspective.
Something about the God, Jesus or the Bible that’s been “bugging” you.
    Obviously, not every request can be fulfilled, but  if a number of you identify similar books, issues or theological concerns, I will read, study and get right on it.  We will explore and be open to what God says about these matters!
     In the meantime, thank you all.  I always feel blessed when you tell me something said in a sermon was moving to you.  I assure you that much of what you say, and much of what we pray about, is moving to me.
     We are blessed by God to have one another in this church.
                                                                                                                                           Yours in Christ,                                                                                                                                                                                      Pastor John