Notes from the leadership journey!

Category Archives: Sermons by Randy

Cultivating a Movement: Keep Moving Forward!

We’re at the end of our series on Cultivating a Movement (see Surrender, Rely on God’s Power, Pursue Holiness, Scatter Seeds, Preserve Unity, Pray Through, and Be Moved With Compassion).

I’ve been describing a movement as a people God can move through, a church God can use. A dictionary definition of a movement is, “A group of people who share the same goal and work together to achieve it.” That ought to describe the church!

While this series comes to an end, its importance does not. I consider it part of my job description as a pastor to cultivate a movement. And, the church must keep moving forward!

Comfort Zone
We all have a comfort zone, a space where we’re most comfortable, where we feel fairly safe. But we can’t spend our whole lives there, especially not if we’re followers of Jesus!

Jesus followers are risk takers!

I love what Mark Batterson recently tweeted …

When I think of taking risks for God—willingness to go where God leads—I think of Peter’s attempt at getting out of the boat to walk on water with Jesus. It didn’t turn out so well for Peter, but it was certainly a great lesson, and a great story!

When Peter realized, in the middle of a storm, that it was Jesus on the water, and not a ghost, he said, “Lord, if it’s you, order me to come to you on the water” (Matthew 14.28, CEB). Jesus said, “Come.”

It started out pretty well. “Peter got out of the boat and was walking on the water toward Jesus” (Matthew 14.29).

But that’s when reality set in for Peter.

But when Peter saw the strong wind, he became frightened. As he began to sink, he shouted, “Lord, rescue me!” Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him, saying, “You man of weak faith! Why did you begin to have doubts?” (Matthew 14.30-31)

The focus in the story is on Peter, but I love John Ortberg’s take on the story, which he developed in his book, If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat (see my post on the book).

Peter risked it all by getting out of the boat, while the other disciples stayed behind where they would, at least, have something to hang onto!

Following Jesus requires total surrender. Oswald Chambers used the phrase, “a reckless abandon to Jesus” to describe total surrender. Jesus followers must live with a reckless abandon to Jesus!

I invite you to pray the prayer we’ve been praying at Centre Grove for a while: Lord, do something unpredictable and uncontrollable!

We will also need to stay humble, stay hungry, and stay in tune with God! All three aspects are essential if we’re to keep moving forward!

Jesus invites us on a great adventure. Total surrender—a reckless abandon to Jesus—is required. Jesus said …

All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me. All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me and because of the good news will save them. (Mark 8.34-35)

Jesus followers are risk takers!

Cultivating a Movement: Be Moved With Compassion!

We’re nearing the end of my sermon series on Cultivating a Movement (see Surrender, Rely on God’s Power, Pursue Holiness, Scatter Seeds, Preserve Unity, and Pray Through). There is clearly a great deal of need in the world. And, the only organization in the world that truly has the power to change the world isContinue →

Cultivating a Movement: Pray Through!

I’m in the home stretch of a sermon series on Cultivating a Movement (see Surrender, Rely on God’s Power, Pursue Holiness, Scatter Seeds, and Preserve Unity). Too Busy Not to Pray! We often live as if we’re too busy to pray. In an effort to get things done, we cut out prayer time. This isContinue →

Cultivating a Movement: Preserve Unity!

I’m near the midpoint of a series of messages on Cultivating a Movement (see Surrender, Rely on God’s Power, Pursue Holiness, and Scatter Seeds). One thing churches must also do is preserve unity! Sadly, churches can be notorious for their lack of unity. When this is the case, the church develops a bad reputation inContinue →

Cultivating a Movement: Scatter Seeds!

I’m working my way through a series of messages on Cultivating a Movement (previous messages include: Surrender, Rely on God’s Power, and Pursue Holiness). The Church has been entrusted with the gospel—the good news of Jesus Christ. We have a story to tell … God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,Continue →

Cultivating a Movement: Pursue Holiness!

Last month, I found myself saying, “I don’t just want to pastor a church; I want to lead a movement!” That sentiment has shaped my first sermon series of the year: Cultivating a Movement. So far, I’ve talked about Surrender and Rely on God’s Power. Another area that’s vital to being a people God canContinue →

Cultivating a Movement: Rely on God’s Power!

I’m working through a sermon series at Centre Grove called, Cultivating a Movement (which was the focus of my latest prayer for the Church). I want to be part of a movement for God. My working definition for a movement is simply a people God can move through, a church God can use! I startedContinue →

Cultivating a Movement: Surrender!

As I wrote previously, I just started a sermon series at Centre Grove on Cultivating a Movement. The series began with a focus on surrender. The word “surrender” has mostly negative connotations—on the battlefield, in the political arena, on the sports field, and in life, in general. But in the spiritual life, surrender is essential.Continue →

Cultivating a Movement

I just started a new sermon series called, “Cultivating a Movement.” A few weeks ago, I wrote in an email to church leaders and prayer partners, “I don’t just want to pastor a church; I want to lead a movement!” Now, that may not be the most theologically-accurate statement. By nature, a church is aContinue →

God is Always With Us, Fighting for Us!

Why is there a Christmas? I believe there’s a Christmas because “God’s faithful love endures forever!” That’s a phrase that appears over and over in the Old Testament (mainly in the Psalms). It includes the Hebrew word, hesed (appears 248 times in the Old Testament), which describes God’s faithful love, loyalty, and devotion. God’s faithfulContinue →