Archives For Preaching/Teaching

Yesterday at all three Vintage Faith Church worship gatherings, we started our new series called "Awaken". This is a series which is going to teach through some of the last days of Jesus before He was crucified and resurrected. We will be primarily walking through Matthew's account and Luke - and will be teaching through the Last Supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter's denial of Jesus, the cross, and the resurrection appearance of Jesus on the road to Emmaus. IMG_1701

Our church has a mix of people who have heard this story multiple times if they have grown up in a church as well as those who are hearing about it for the first time. But whatever it is, we want to try and catch people up into this incredible story of Jesus' last days. I was recently speaking at a conference with Ralph Winter who is the producer of all the X-Men movies and the Star Trek films and I had the great opportunity to learn from him about films and stories. He said something that stuck in my head (amongst many things) is that for the blockbuster movie The Titanic, people didn't go see that film wondering what was going to happen to the ship. We all knew the ship sinks before we go. But the film was powerful because it drew people into the story.

With "Easter" (and I explained the origin of that word and why the name of mythological goddess is used generally for Resurrection Sunday) – there is tremendous story of Jesus as He "awakened" His disciples (thus the name of the series) to what His story, purpose, who He really was and what their mission would be. So we intentionally are trying to teach this in a way of drawing them into the story – even though, the ending – the resurrection, is generally known.IMG_1692

So as I prepped and our teaching team met, it was thought what better way then to teach about the Last Supper, then to recreate it as we teach it. So we had the entire passage from Matthew read outloud by two people and then I asked for 13 people to come up on the stage and "recline" at the recreation of what a table and seating would have been for a Passover meal at that time. We went back to Exodus and taught about the original passover and Israel's rescue from Egypt and where the Passover meal originated.

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Last week at our Sunday worship gatherings at Vintage Faith Church, we had a vision Sunday sort of a message. Looking back on our history and looking ahead sort of a thing. It was a communion Sunday and we set up the room as we do often with the cross in the very center of the room and everyone comes together at the cross to take communion.

We have taught through the vision of our church every year since we started in 2004 and last time we had artists who painted "worshiping" "community" "missional" theologians" in art pieces we now hang around the sanctuary. So with the diagram we use to explain our vision (below) and as we put up the cross in the center, our room set-up is actually the diagram of how we explain the vision. Vision Dan part 1

On this past Sunday, we did something similar to what we did back when we first planted the church. At our very first communion as a church back when we started in 2004, we built a 3-D puzzle of a church building. This photo here of the box is the actual one we used.3d church puzzle It was only 200 pieces as we launched Vintage Faith Church with around 120 people. I thought it would be easy to build the 3-D puzzle since it was only 200 pieces. But I fast learned it wasn't too easy and Becky and I stayed up till around 4 AM the night before putting it together.

When we got to the communion part of the gathering, we all came to to the table to take communion but as we did, we disassembled the church building piece by piece. Everyone took off a piece of the 3-D puzzle of the church building. So we deconstructed it and the message that night was "Be the church" that we wanted to stress as our theme. That we will never see "church" as the building, but we are the church wherever we go – thus taking apart the church building to show that and everyone kept a piece as a reminder.

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Preaching I do teach at least 50% of the Sundays at Vintage Faith Church, but we intentionally do not have one solo teacher but a team.

I'd be curious to hear from others what % of the year do you or your primary preacher/teacher teach on Sundays and is there reasons behind that?

During all the youth ministry years, as well as during Graceland and the young adult ministry years at my former church - I taught 95% of the time on Sundays. I would rarely miss a Sunday except for vacations for the most part. Even at 50% now, I still am the one who teaches most in our church over the course of a year. I am heading into a 6 out of 7 weeks straight teaching on Sundays starting next Sunday. But we intentionally now have a team teaching approach.

The reason is that I have a certain temperament and style of preaching. I also believe that I have topics and areas of teaching that I teach better than other areas. I find myself getting more energy teaching about apologetics, or theological topics, or tough issues about the faith or about mission. I love teaching books of the Bible like we are for the whole month of August (We are teaching through Philemon). But I believe there are others gifted to teach on biblical topics like parenting, marriage, conflict and counseling types of teaching, spiritual formation issues etc. that do so in my opinion better than I can. I know it is the Spirit who changes people with what we teach, and it is the Scriptures and truth from Scripture we are bringing out – but at the same time, there are different people who have deeper insight than others on certain areas. I have taught on all those things in the past and still do when needed, but now try to focus on what I believe is my best contribution for teaching and have others who bring their best as well.

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