Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Post-It® note Preaching

Today’s Reading: Acts 14:24-25 NIV

24 After going through Pisidia, [Paul and Barnabas] came into Pamphylia, 25 and when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.

Good morning!

I asked one of my Pastors if he would send me a copy of his sermon notes on The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Chuckling under his breath, Pastor intimated that his sermon notes generally consist of a few scribbles on a piece of paper and some well placed Post-It® notes in his Bible. How did we ever learn to preach before the creation of the Post-It® note? Post-It® notes are pieces of stationery with a strip of adhesive on the back, designed to temporarily stick on documents. They come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes; they can easily be attached and removed without leaving permanent marks or residue. The Post-It® note is one great way to preserve Scripture and keep track of your sermon notes all at the same time.

My husband would probably prefer I use Post-It® notes in my Bible instead of scribbling notes and highlighting passages of Scripture with pens and colored highlighters. His Bibles are kept in pristine condition. The binding on my Bibles are often broken and the pages become loose because I write in them all the time. I sure hope the Lord will forgive me for being so hard on His Word.

I would imagine that the preaching of Paul and Barnabas in Galatia was compelling in part, because of the way in which they presented the Gospel. While it is certainly possible that Paul used notes to convey the Gospel, as he was an avid writer himself, I would guess he gave his personal testimony without any need for sermon notes or a detailed outline. He did not have artificial amplification to carry his voice into the crowd. The convictions of his heart coupled with the Holy Spirit power carried his voice in a way that all who gathered could hear. He had no computer, big screen, or PowerPoint® software to enhance his presentation. Folks were simply glued to the holy glow across Paul’s face, as he spoke about the love of the Savior. There are times when I think we rely far too much on our own human effort when speaking God’s Word. If we know what we know because the Son of God has personally impacted the direction of our lives, we must know that He will speak in and through us, if we simply get out of the way and allow Him to use us as instruments of His will.

I understand the need for Post-It® note preaching, because I personally know how hard it is to keep my own thoughts on track while sharing God’s Word with others. Yet, I need to learn how to rely less upon my own simple, finite thoughts and fully lean into God’s Holy Word. I am convinced that our personal witness is the most powerful way we can convey God’s love through Jesus Christ. How has the Lord changed your life? If I were to ask you to tell me about how you know Jesus, what would you say? Put your notes down, look me in the eye, and tell me your story.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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