J.S. Park

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Posts tagged with "Preaching"

Why Do We Even Go To Church? - That Crazy, Messy, Weird Thing We Call The Body of Christ
J.S. Park

jspark3000:

Hello beloved wonderful friends!

This message is titled: Why Do We Even Go To Church? - That Crazy, Messy, Weird Thing We Call The Body of Christ.

It’s about why I still love the church despite it all, and how she is still God’s idea to be a force for good in the universe.  Being part of a church is messy and difficult, but it can be incredible.

Stream above or download directly here!

 

Some things I talk about are: That very nervous moment when you bring a friend to church and you see the weirdness of Sunday service,  how I reply when someone tells me that the church is full of hypocrites, how the friction of colliding with our disagreements can turn us into fully polished people, that time a church lady hit my car in the parking lot and ran, and my very first pastor loving me from hateful atheism to unexpected faith.

Be blessed and love y’all!

— J.S.

Why Do We Even Go To Church? - That Crazy, Messy, Weird Thing We Call The Body of Christ
J.S. Park

Hello beloved wonderful friends!

This message is titled: Why Do We Even Go To Church? - That Crazy, Messy, Weird Thing We Call The Body of Christ.

It’s about why I still love the church despite it all, and how she is still God’s idea to be a force for good in the universe.  Being part of a church is messy and difficult, but it can be incredible.

Stream above or download directly here!

 

Some things I talk about are: That very nervous moment when you bring a friend to church and you see the weirdness of Sunday service,  how I reply when someone tells me that the church is full of hypocrites, how the friction of colliding with our disagreements can turn us into fully polished people, that time a church lady hit my car in the parking lot and ran, and my very first pastor loving me from hateful atheism to unexpected faith.

Be blessed and love y’all!

— J.S.

The quote by Tim Keller, can you share with me the source for that? I would appreciate it so much!

Sure!  You’re referring to this quote

You’ll probably think I’m a bit nerdy here, but it’s actually from a series of lectures I purchased on iTunes called “Preaching To The Heart” by Timothy Keller.  I think it’s about 10 bucks and well worth the price.  The particular quote was from Part 5 of 6 lectures, called “Preaching To An Emerging Culture,” at around the sixty minute mark.  I’ve listened to the series now at least twice.  It’s meant for pastors and church leaders, but I think everyone could benefit.

— J.S.

Joseph The Hopeless Dreamer: Perseverance In The Pain, From Pit to Prison to Palace
J.S. Park

Hello lovely wonderful friends!

This is the seventh part of a sermon series called "Snapshots: The Men & Women of the Bible.”  It explores how the people in the Bible were just as fallen as you and me, and how God worked through them.

This message is titled: Joseph The Hopeless Dreamer: Perseverance In The Pain, From Pit to Prison to Palace.

it’s about persevering through those seasons of uncontrollable circumstances, when nothing seems to change, and the difficulty of trusting that God is still in control.

Stream above or download here!

 

Some things I talk about are: How to read a book in ten seconds (by turning to the first and last page of the book), how painful moments always become the best stories but never in the moment, that time my dad was nearly executed by firing squad in the Vietnam War, the awful cliches that spiritualize pain into lessons, the vivid wild wonderfully heartbreaking tale of Joseph and his brothers, the single linchpin verse that brings together the whole Bible, and how to put down the baggage of an old hurt in your next season of life.

Be blessed and love y’all!

— J

jspark3000:

Hello wonderful friends!
If you’ve been blessed by the podcast, I would graciously like to ask for a review or a star-rating on iTunes. 
Love y’all and thank you!
— J

jspark3000:

Hello wonderful friends!

If you’ve been blessed by the podcast, I would graciously like to ask for a review or a star-rating on iTunes

Love y’all and thank you!

— J

Aug 2

Tips on Preaching & Teaching For the First Time

So I’m speaking to my youth group this Wednesday (I’m 16 and this is the first time speaking at church) and I was just wondering if maybe you had any tips?

 

My friend, that is awesome. Woo!! Let’s first be grateful to God for this amazing opportunity that you’ve been given.  You and I never earned the right to preach or teach, but were given this honor by the Creator of everything so that others might know Him, be loved by Him, and love Him in return.  Please start there, in a place of humility, recognizing we are absolutely unworthy to teach others with our squishy tiny 3 lb. brains and our half-inch vocal cords, to other squishy fallen human beings from a wild variety of diverse back-stories — except by the grace of God. 

I mean that’s really crazy, when you think about it.  I’ve never gotten over that.

I don’t want to give you a formula or checklist because then you might be tempted to follow that instead of Jesus.  So here just a few things to pray about and consider.  You’re not obligated to any of these, so simply reflect and go forth, my friend.

 

- Love your people.  This is obvious, but so very often I forget to love the people who are right in front of me.  Sometimes I’m so quick to check off my awesome agenda of great sermon points, that I forget these are real hurting broken struggling people who care less about my intelligence and more about their maker.  Every word and sentence and theme must be fashioned out of love for your people.  Let your group know that this is a big deal for you and that you’re available outside of preaching time.  If they know you care about them, they’ll remember that more than the message.

 

- You be you.  My initial problem in preaching was imitation.  When I first started, I listened to a lot of James MacDonald, who is a fiery aggressive preacher with a booming voice and roughly twenty points in every sermon.  I even took on some of his tone and inflections.  Soon I learned, I wasn’t good at preaching like this.  My strengths were not a booming voice and twenty-point messages.  If you’re not naturally funny, you don’t have to try.  If you’re loud, use that to your advantage. Be comfortable with how God has made you.  Part of trusting God is trusting how He made you to be you in the world.  Let yourself out to play.

 

- Be prepared.  Please don’t presume that “good speaking ability” or “relying on the Spirit” will get you through a message.  They can, but people will know you’re not prepared and they won’t take you seriously, and the Spirit won’t swoop in for a lack of your own prep.  Study up, know your stuff, pray and reflect, preach it to yourself, apply it in your own life.  And when in doubt, quote C.S. Lewis.

 

- It’s okay to fail.  There’s an old joke in seminary that your first one-hundred sermons will be terrible.  When someone raises their first child, they’re nervous and neurotic and freak out easily and take too many pictures and are generally very overbearing.  But by the third child, the parent is super-cool and laidback and much more confident.  Yet no parent can raise their tenth child like the first one.  It takes growing pains.  In martial arts, we call that ring experience.  It doesn’t matter how much you train at the gym: when you’re in the ring, that’s the true training.  If you have a sermon fail, don’t beat yourself up.  Also, if you’re a first child: sorry bro.  At least you get the double portion. #JesusJuke

 

- If they fall asleep or don’t pay attention, that’s okay.  You’re not doing it for validation anyway.  I say this with all love and grace for you: but no one owes you anything.  No one owes your their attention or their undying eye contact for you.  Their time is precious and so is yours.  This goes for bloggers too: no one owes you “likes” or reblogs or replies or validation.  When someone does something for the approval of their peers, they’re no longer doing the main thing, but it’s now grossly external and foreign to the original purpose of that thing.  So no matter how many people are there, preach like you’re in a stadium.  Like Jesus is sitting there.  I preached to three students every Friday for two years, and I loved it.  They’ll stay awake if you’re awake and alive and all there, and they’ll know you’re not desperate for their thumbs-up.

 

- It’s also okay to evaluate.  If you mess up, simply examine what went wrong, recuperate in God’s embrace, and add that sermon to your ring experience. My method: I write down in a notebook what worked, what didn’t, and what I can do different next time.  Nothing too big, maybe half a page.  It’s a little painful and humbling, but I wrestle with it to the end. Once I close the notebook, I stop thinking about how it failed.  That’s done.  I give God the credit for any success.

 

- Stay humble.  Chances are that God will work through you and the Spirit will really sweep through the place.  If so, awesome!  Thank God when it happens.  Thank God if only seeds are planted that day.  Thank God you even get to do this. 

— J.S.

 

Also check out:

- Preachers: A Sermon Gut-Check

- Life Is Interruption (On Totally Bombing In The Pulpit)

- When You Fail A Sermon

- Remember The Uninitiated

- Sovereign Seeds, Unknown Deeds

- My Pastor Doesn’t Preach Deep Enough

Besides your own, what are some other good podcasts?

Hey my friend, that’s really very kind of you to say.  I’m always so critical of my own preaching and I’m so much more comfortable writing.  My podcast is here, or is tagged on my blog here, and also on iTunes here.  Would be absolutely grateful if anyone left a review or star-rating on iTunes!

I currently listen to:

- Francis Chan. He’s been preaching at Reality Church in San Francisco.  I get scared to listen to him because he’s always so convicting and real, but that’s exactly why I love him.  Look up his recent message “20th Anniversary” from Cornerstone Simi Valley.

- Timothy Keller.  Rich, vibrant, intellectually satisfying preaching.  Look up his recent trip to Belhaven and also “On The Mountain.”

- Andy Stanley.  I know some say he’s “lite” or “diet faith,” but he has such a great practicality in his teaching.  I was really blessed by his two recent series, “Ask It” and “Right In The Eye.”

For my favorite sermons of all time, read here.  These were formative in my spiritual journey.

For the dangers of becoming a sermon junkie, read here.

And if you haven’t yet, go purchase The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis.  It’s a book of his best sermons.

Fellow bloggers: Please make suggestions!

— J.S.

Gideon The Unworthy: God Has Given You Worth Apart From What You Think About You
J.S. Park

Hello lovely wonderful friends!

This is the fifth part of a sermon series called "Snapshots: The Men & Women of the Bible.”  It explores how the people in the Bible were just as fallen as you and me, and how God worked through them.

This message is titled: Gideon The Unworthy: God Has Given You Worth Apart From What You Think About You.

It’s about finding the gifts and greatness in you by the grace of God, and liberating ourselves from all the discouragement we’ve ever faced.

Stream above or download here!


Some things I talk about are: Outlandish auction bids for celebrity-owned items including Justin Bieber’s hair, my brother the totally unsuspecting MMA jujitsu fighter, the anxious fear of small-town gossip when you try to step it up, tough advice for my future daughter, how the church ought to be like a bunch of cheerleaders, my first pre-marriage counseling, and the words that you’ve secretly wanted to hear your whole life.

Be blessed and love y’all!

— J

(Source: thewayeverlasting.libsyn.com)

Jul 8

Mary Magdalene: The First Most Least Qualified Christian
J.S. Park

Hello lovely wonderful friends!

This is the fourth part of a sermon series called "Snapshots: The Men & Women of the Bible.”  It explores how the people in the Bible were just as fallen as you and me, and how God worked through them.

This message is titled: Mary Magdalene: The First Most Least Qualified Christian

It’s about freeing ourselves from the categorical prison of quick judgments and embracing the thoughtful approach of grace.

Stream above or download here!

 

Some things I talk about are: My 72 hours inside a mental institution, the two opposite and equally false judgments we make about everyone in the room, that moment when you imitate the guy you don’t like with the crazy evil villain voice, if the Gospel of Jesus were re-written as an Epic Greek Myth with rippling muscles, and loving enough to find those cockroaches in your friend’s bed.

Be blessed and love y’all!

— J

How I Met My Savior: Zacchaeus and Jesus and The Labels That Squeeze Us
J.S. Park

Hello lovely wonderful friends!

This is the third part of a sermon series called "Snapshots: The Men & Women of the Bible.”  It explores how the people in the Bible were just as fallen as you and me, and how God worked through them.

This message is titled: How I Met My Savior: Zacchaeus and Jesus and The Labels That Squeeze Us.

It’s about breaking free of the labels that enslave us and truly grabbing God’s reckless calling for our lives.

Stream above or download here!

 

Some things I talk about are: The Permanent Time-Stamped Label when you grow up in the same town long enough, your reaction when a five year old calls himself stupid, that time I got the embarrassing price check for hemorrhoid cream on the intercom, treating a prostitute like a lady for one night, eating pasta so good that it ruins all pasta, and pushing back the flurry of voices to grab God’s one true calling for you.

Be blessed and love y’all!

— J

The Power To Edit Your Own Life
J.S. Park

Hello beloved wonderful friends!

This is the sixth and final part of a sermon series called “Why You Christian?”  It explores the question of why anyone would ever want to be a Christian.

This message is titled: The Power To Edit Your Own Life.

It’s about the choice to change the story of your life and where you are heading: and it begins with confronting yourself in candid honesty.

Stream above or download here!

 

Some things I talk about are: That moment in the movie when the hero is down to nothing but-then-wow-comeback, the sudden epiphany when the villain’s henchman turns against him, that time my friend typed out my angry text messages and read them to me, those random heart-punching face-to-face encounters where you walk away different than before, and going to the movies with Jesus.

Be blessed and love y’all!

— J

Over The Drama, Under A Mission
J.S. Park

Hello beloved wonderful friends!

This is the fifth part of a sermon series called “Why You Christian?”  It explores the question of why anyone would ever want to be a Christian.

This message is titled: Over The Drama, Under A Mission.

It’s about looking above all the petty conflicts and everyday drama to a bigger purpose, and how we were made for way more.

Stream above or download here!

 

Some things I talk about are: That time I overheard a woman catching her boyfriend with another woman (and I giggled like crazy), when soldiers in battle care more about the Kardashians than their commander, how the first Christians had to fight lions and horses, the futility of trying to hook up my cheap beat-up Toyota Corolla, and how a men’s cologne tells me about the God-given purpose of our existence.

Be blessed and love y’all!

— J

May 8

The Perfectly Balanced Love That Does Not Compromise Truth
J.S. Park

jspark3000:

Hello beloved wonderful friends!

This is the fourth part of new sermon series called “Why You Christian?”  It explores the question of why anyone would ever want to be a Christian.

This message is titled: The Perfectly Balanced Love That Does Not Compromise Truth.

It’s about how we approach others of different beliefs and lifestyles, and how we can love them like Jesus without holding back on truth.

Stream above or download here!

 

Some things I talk about are: The injection that “cures gay people,” the constant tug of war between being gracious and being truthful, the outrage at your friend who is being used by a friend but can’t see it, having the cool relaxed mom and the strict scary dad, dealing with a friend who’s obsessed with crazy pseudo-romantic longings, the red-faced preachers who hate homosexuals, how Jesus perfectly balanced love without compromise, and a phone call with my gay friend.

Be blessed and love y’all!

— J

Everything Is Very Wrong With Everything, And We Know It
J.S. Park

Hello beloved wonderful friends!

This is the first part of a new sermon series called “Why You Christian?”  It explores the question of why anyone would ever want to be a Christian.

This first message is titled: Everything Is Very Wrong With Everything, And We Know It.

It’s about that Christianese church-word “sin,” and how we all secretly know something is very wrong and all the ways we try to make it right.

Stream above or download here!

 

Some things I talk about are: That moment when you wonder why you ever need to learn calculus or the quadratic equation, the very goofy Christianese words ‘sin’ and ‘wrath,’ that weird dark secret thing we do that no one wants to talk about, how the world tries to save itself through try-more moralism and top-my-feelings therapy, slapping someone in the pulpit, and that time I almost cheated on my fiancé with a Starbucks barista.

Be blessed and love y’all!

— J

As For Me: One of the Most Important Throwaway Phrases of Scripture
J.S. Park

jspark3000:

Hello beloved wonderful friends!

This is a message titled: As For Me: One of the Most Important Throwaway Phrases of Scripture.

I go over a repeated phrase we see in the Old Testament, "As for me."  It’s about becoming a countercultural force for the common good without judging others and without compromising ourselves.

Stream above or download here!

 Be blessed and love y’all!

— J