Candidate Preaching Topics/Texts/Subjects.

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by jshurley04, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. jshurley04

    jshurley04
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    I have been invited to preach at a church as a candidate for pastor. Since I have never been in this position before I would like some advice from some of the members of this board who are pastors and have candidated before.

    While I believe that ultimately the sermon is the Lord's, I also know that I cannot speak to specific issues in the church because I don't know the church. I also know that there is a certain decorem (?) about speaking at a church for the first time. I don't want to come off as someone that I am not but I also want them to see as much of me as possible.

    My thought is that the morning service will probably be mostly homefolks and the interim pastor is a former evangelist. So I don't want to come across as if everyone is lost (although I do plan to present the gospel within the context of the sermon) but I also want to approach them from the standpoint of feeding the flock. From what I understand the interim has legalized most of his preaching and has offended in the wrong way many members. So I need to not only present my stand in doctrine but also feed them the liberty in Christ the we have as believers. I suppose that I am not used to not knowing a congregation before and I just need some advice.

    Thanks
     
  2. FundamentalDan

    FundamentalDan
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    I have only been on this go-around a few times, but here is what I did and probably will do in the future. Sunday morning I preached an encouragement type of message, predominately aimed at believers but with a clear Gospel message. I preached out of I Timothy 1 at that time, a message about how God saved Paul as an example to others that He could save them too. On Sunday night, I preached a message about my philosophy of the church. I also answered any questions that they had. I believe that the message about the church was good because it let them know where I stand on the issue right up front.
     
  3. Trotter

    Trotter
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    Most importantly, be yourself and preach as you normally would. Don't try to dazzle anyone... you are there to give the word of the Lord.

    The AM message should center more toward encouragement and salvation... but don't just preach salvation alone. Nothing wrong with it, but you are preaching to the Church, not a saloon. There may be some lost people there, but most are not.

    The PM message should be meatier, as very few who are lost would be in the PM service. Shoot, about 1/2 (or less!) of the AM service will be there, anyway!

    Let the church know where you stand doctrinally through your message. Don't hesitate to drive a point with how you stand persoanlly. That gives the church an opportunity to see your convictions in action.

    Let the Lord lead you in the selection of a passage, but don't be scared of the more 'difficult' ones. Many congregations have never had these passages explained and expounded to them.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  4. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    I would advise you to preach a message that would best represent how you would preach on a week to week basis. Do not try to be someone or something that you are not. Be yourself and preach the Word!
     
  5. TomVols

    TomVols
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    The rule is: preach your best sermon, and Sunday night preach your second best [​IMG]

    Seriously, treat it like any other one-shot opportunity. I think those are the most difficult since you do not have the benefit of preaching through a series and know a ton of the needs.
     
  6. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    Be true to your Lord and Master, the Word, and your call.

    Study ... pray ... study ... pray ... prepare ... pray ... study ...

    A minimum reading of the central passage 20 times as I prepare ... plus other versions, plus the original language ...
     
  7. jshurley04

    jshurley04
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    Thanks guys, please please please keep me in your prayers. If God opens the door, I want to do what is right and not what I think. We just lost my father-in-law on Labor Day and my wife is very nervous about separating from her mom and brother and sisters. She is willing to go where God wants, but she just does not know what to think about moving away. Please just keep me in your prayers.

    Thanks
     
  8. untangled

    untangled
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    Jshurley,

    I understand how you feel. I went through the same thing about three months ago. My wife's family kind of gave me alot of grief about moving their daughter out of county. The funny thing is that she still has the same job. We just moved a county over where everyone who lives here that works almost always works in town so she's there in town four days a week. We're 20 minutes away and its the end of the world. hehe I guess the problem was not my wife just here mom and her dad especially. He doesn't understand anything about ministry or the church so he could have been alot happier if I would have worked at one of the businesses in town.

    Anyway, I've been preaching alot on the holiness of our God and the fellowship of believers. When I was doing the candidacy part I just preached about every service but in the PM services I sort of taught.

    With all else aside, I'll pray for you and pray that God will have HIS way!

    In Christ,

    Brooks
     
  9. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Look inside yourself and find the part of Christianity that you feel most passionate about.
    Develop a sermon from that.

    When you preach with passion and from your heart the true you will show through.

    And the Congregation needs to see you, and what you are.
     
  10. jshurley04

    jshurley04
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    Well, just wanted to update the situation.

    Went down to Louisiana and preached both am and pm services as well as sunday school. They did not ask about sunday school until I walked in at 10 'till and then started 5 min early. Fourtunately I had my laptop that had several lessons that I was very comfortable with on it and wound up teaching from it. I did a lesson entitled "What we believe about the Bible" and taught from a beginners standpoint. Basically, I covered the basics of the scriptures from the general facts of writting to a detail of what we believe them to be. BUT, before I started the lesson, I asked everyone to respond to this statement: If you agree 100% with what I am about to say, then please stand up. The Bible that we hold in our hand is 100% absolute truth and the foundation of all that we believe as a church. They all stood up.

    In the worship hour, I probably went a little longer than I normally would because of presenting some of my background and my family. I began with asking the same question of those in attendance and explained things this way: If you cannot agree to that statement, then I have no business being here and you have no business calling yourself a church. The outline of the sermon was three points. 1. God is a God of Truth. 2. Christ is reality of Truth. 3. Scriptures are the revelation of Truth. There were some subpoints that I skipped in the presentation of the message simply for the sake of time. I did not want to go much longer than I was comfortable with.

    After the morning service, they served my family and I lunch in the back. We had what was called a barnyard gumbo. Interesting food, but I was troubled by the fact that no one else other than the music minister stayed to eat and no one in the church, including the music minister ever asked me any questions about anything. I took time to ask more questions that it seemed he wanted to answer and felt at arms length, which is the way I felt from the time we arrived in town to the time that we left. I never felt that they wanted to get to know me.

    They are in the final stages of a building program and seem to have a handle on the finances. They took me on a tour of the new building and showed me what they had planned. It all looks wonderful. I am just not sure about the people. The music minister stated that everyone that attends is from towns surrounding the town we were in. IF I were to be the pastor, I would be the only member living in the town the churc is located in.

    Sunday evening I based my message on Proverbs 17:22 because they just seemed sour that morning and felt that they needed to rejoice in their salvation more. They just felt as if they had no more spirit in them. This service there was a response to the message and they told me to close however I choose. So, we all gathered in front of the pulpit, formed a circle, held hands and shared some of the good things that God is doing in our lives.

    After the service, we shook hands and they basically grabbed some of our things and walked us out to the truck. As we walked out they closed and locked the doors and left and were gone before my family could get loaded and strapped in.

    All in all, I enjoyed the experience and would love to do it again. They are basically choosing by preaching contest out of 4 men and I was number 2. I don't expect to hear back from them. I still desire to pastor as the Sr. Pastor or under a good man as his Youth Pastor so that I could learn more. I am discouraged because this is my hearts desire and I feel like I am being forgotten about. I have so many feelings going through my mind about why I am still not working in a church full time I am not sure what is what. I just want serve God and suppose that I will have to do so as a member of a local church rather than full time. I just feel as if I have failed in some way.
     
  11. Brother Ian

    Brother Ian
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    It sounds like you learned some things. If the Lord wants you there, he'll work in the hearts of the people and in yours.

    People have become distant in the church today. Don't take it personally, but I think it is an indication of their hearts. You can't force friendliness on people if they're not friendly, that's another issue.

    God bless you Brother. If the Lord has called you, He will place you. That's what I tell myself as I prepare for full-time service.
     
  12. bapmom

    bapmom
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    jshurley,

    I hope you don't mind if I give you an example from a pastor I know? I know Im not a pastor myself.... [​IMG]

    This was over 15 years ago, but this preacher I know had come from Arizona to candidate at a church in Chicago. Well, the meeting did not go warmly, and he was very discouraged as he seemed to have come all that way for absolutely nothin', and he had even planned to stay in town a week. They did ask him to preach the Wed. eve. service that week, though he already knew they were not going to have him as pastor. Well, he preached, and at that Wednesday night meeting was a man who just "happened" to be travelling through Chicago on his way to Milwaukee, where he was a deacon at my present church. Long story short, he asked that preacher to come candidate and that preacher was the pastor of my church for the next ten years.

    We just never know how God's going to work it out. I hope that my little story could lighten your load in some way. [​IMG]
     
  13. j_barner2000

    j_barner2000
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    I preached on the vision God gave me of the ministry He planned for me. Isa. 42:1-5. As an undershepherd, I had better conduct ministry as the Shepherd did.

    The church we were invited to candidate for kept us, living in a motorhome for 2 monthes while they pursued a decision from a man who was filling their pulpit as to whether he would accept their call. ( I was not aware I was being used as the "if you don't, he will" person in the game.) God then led us to a pastor I knew nearer to where we would rather serve anyway and he had me fill his pulpit and that of a church that is still pastorless. God used that to place us where He wanted us... 8 miles from the place we had left in MI. to move to AZ.
    He has a plan. Just step in, relax, buckle up, and enjoy the ride. It will be thrilling all the way. The step in, relax... are doing your part. But in the end He will place you where He wants you.
    God bless Bro. I will be praying for you.
     

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