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Featured First Book to preach through in new church?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Vizio, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. Vizio

    Vizio Member
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    Hi all. Taking on a new pastorate beginning of June. I typically preach a book at a time, verse by verse. I'm planning on my first sermon to be 1 Cor 2:1-5.

    But after that...I am thinking about what book to launch into. I'm considering Acts. I think it would be nice to lay the groundwork. Many of the folks there are hungry to learn evangelism, and I think it would be nice, inspiring book.

    Thoughts? Just figured I'd toss it out there.
     
  2. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    Romans.
     
  3. Vizio

    Vizio Member
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    Heh...thought about that. Someday I will. But I will cowardly stay away from Romans 8-9 and the whole predestination/election thing until they get to know me. I do believe in the Biblical doctrine of election, but I'd like them to see that I also believe in evangelism, and in reaching the lost -- which is what Calvinists are often accused of ignoring. In time I will go into that. I will also avoid Revelation--I just don't feel led to preach through that anytime soon.
     
  4. annsni

    annsni Administrator
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    Acts is a great plan as is Ephesians!! :)
     
  5. StefanM

    StefanM Well-Known Member
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    Philippians is a good option too.
     
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  6. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    When John Gill became Pastor of the wonderfully named Goat Yard church at Horse Lie Down in London in 1720, one of the first books he preached through was the Song of Solomon. He preached 122 sermons on it.

    More seriously, what about Ruth? Loads of Gospel themes there.
     
  7. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Just curious - how often do you preach topical sermons?
     
  8. Vizio

    Vizio Member
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    Typically only for special occasions -- a Christmas series, Palm Sunday, Easter. Otherwise for the most part, I stick to a book. I just believe people grow more when they can follow along in a book and we walk through it
     
  9. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    When beginning your pulpit ministry in a church, it is important to think about the greatest need of the congregation and select a book, with much prayer and humility, to teach/preach from.

    For instance, many years ago I took on the pastorate of a church where the previous pastor had gotten the congregation bogged down in cultic charismania, where he believed he was simply a transmitter for God, providing completely new revelation at the expense of scripture. Fortunately, he went off the rails and abandoned the congregation because they were "not spiritual enough" to see that they had a modern prophet in their midst.

    When I can in, the congregation was quite confused and needed doctrinal moorings. They had been told they were hell-bound unless they had complete obedience to the previous pastor. So I started with the Letter to the Galatians, teaching through the book in six weeks so they could get a basic foundation underneath them to steady the congregation. Then I preached through the Gospel of John on Sunday mornings for nearly a year, and Sunday evenings we had a much more informal sermon/teaching session where we worked through the Letter to the Romans.

    Afterward, I preached through other books and did some timely topical sermon series that touched on questions or issues that had come from members of the congregation.

    If you think the church needs an inspiration picture of the first churches in ministry and action, then Acts is a great way to start.
     
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  10. Vizio

    Vizio Member
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    I know some of those needs, but honestly...there is only so much one can really KNOW about a church prior to spending the time there. I've met with the pulpit committee several times, spent a weekend there, done several interviews over skype and had a few phone calls...but there is only so much I can REALLY know.

    I do know what they faced with the previous pastor, and I do know what they are looking to do -- specifically they have expressed an interested in reaching the lost in their area. That is very appealing to me, as I have a love of evangelism.

    I appreciate the thoughts of everyone so far. In my current pastorate, I started as a pulpit supply temporary guy. I wasn't sure if I'd be here for 2 months or 20 years, so I started on Ephesians. That isn't a bad book to do, I know...but I think I'm really leaning toward Acts. My only concern is I'm not sure if I want my first book to be on that will likely take 1 year + to do.
     
  11. StefanM

    StefanM Well-Known Member
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    Obviously, you should do as God calls.

    But from the perspective of someone in the pews, the idea of having a year-long series from a brand-new pastor makes my skin crawl.

    What about preaching selected passages from Acts? That way you could accomplish much of the same without having to commit to a whole year of preaching. You could also preach from different books in the middle as a break, if you want.
     
  12. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    Seek God. If you have been seeking God on this issue and you are leaning toward Acts, go with it.

    If you teach/preach Acts correctly, there is all sorts of doctrinal and practical stuff there. It is a very meaty book, a lot more than many realize because of the way some charismatics have abused the book.

    I haven't preached through it in many years, but I am planning to teach it in an adult Sunday School setting in 2018. I taught through it at a midweek youth Bible study about five years ago and the youth loved it because it was compelling, exciting, human, and even funny (Rhoda not letting Peter in the gate because she thought he was a ghost - Acts 12, and the fickle crowds at Lystra who mistook Paul and Barnabas for Zeus and Hermes and were going to sacrifice to them, but then decided to stone them once they realized their mistake - Acts 14. That's a tough crowd.).

    It is a rewarding book.
     
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  13. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Gospel of John, as it is the most "spiritual" of all 4 Gospels!
     
  14. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    Oh, if you do Acts, be sure to do the historical background research. It really provides great context for the passages, such as the legendary reason the people of Lystra were so eager to recognize Paul and Barnabas as Zeus and Hermes, and why Athens had altars to the Unknown God. In the time Acts was written, the general context was known and understood, but many modern readers can't make much sense of the motivations of the people without that knowledge.
     
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  15. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    I love the Gospel of John, but it is not any more valuable or "spiritual" than any of the other gospels. While it is important to study John, you have not really studied the life of Jesus in a balanced way until you have also studied one of the synoptic gospels in relation to John. John is writing for a specific purpose well after the other three gospels had been written and circulated. For the most part, he does not make an attempt to cover the same ground, but instead show his readers a series of signs that take us farther and deeper than the more basic information about Jesus that his readers would have already know.

    It is similar to the way Paul's writings need to be interpreted in light of the teaching of Jesus given in the gospels. Paul's original readers (already believers) knew the oral traditions - and possibly some written material - and Paul is building on that. Without that foundation, it is very easy to misinterpret Paul in light of tradition and current opinions.
     
  16. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    I mean spiritual in the sense that he does do the most to reveal jesus as being God Incarnate, and the Son of God, and to have eternal life by believing in his name...
     
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  17. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    Whoa, who mentioned value? :eek:

    But as for more spiritual, if I recall correctly, Tozer and a few others may disagree with you. :)
     
  18. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    The point is well taken. I may be reading a bit into it since I have heard some similar sentiments over the last few years from people who like the "spiritual" Jesus depicted in John much better than the parable-speaking Jesus who is confusing in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. My motivation was to point out that the gospels are all talking about the same Jesus and each has their specific emphasis and value. Interpretively, I tend to see the Gospel of John as a follow-up to the knowledge gained in the synoptics.

    I'm sure a lot of people disagree.

    I've taught and preached through the Gospel of John several times over the last 30 years, and I've personally neglected the synoptic gospels in my whole book teaching. I've never taught Mark as a whole, I have taught Matthew once, and I'm presently taking a class on a multi-year study of Luke. Acts is the next destination (as a literal sequel to Luke).
     
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  19. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    The good news is that really ANY book taught in the bible is worthwhile!
     
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  20. Vizio

    Vizio Member
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    Not sure the divinity of Jesus is really a major issue this church is struggling with. I will certainly preah though John's Gospel in due time..but if I'm going to do a longer book, I think Acts is the one I may do.
     
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