Chains that Bind

September 13, 2008 by  
Filed under Preaching


Brent Amato - Chains that Bind

Consider the scene from the classic, “Christmas Carol” and poor Marley, bound in chains, definitely not a happy camper. We’re frightened by his predicament; our heart goes out to his condition – such a pathetic creature. But also consider poor Scrooge. Scrooge was aghast at Marley’s chains but Marley was burdened by Scrooge’s “chains”. Scrooge’s reply to Marley’s comments about Scrooge’s chains should haunt us. Did you hear Scrooge’s words: “I see no chains”. Is it possible that Marley’s portrayed chained status and Scrooge’s hidden chained status are no different than ours? Is it possible that we walked into this worship center burdened with chains, chains that bind? Part of the spiritual warfare we all engage in is found in the desire of our enemy, as Galatians 2:4 states, “to bring us into bondage”. Paul reminds believers in Romans 8:15, “For you have not received a spirit of slavery”. What might these chains look like?

[audio:http://brentamato.com/audio/Chains.mp3]

For more of Brent’s sermons visit the Preaching page.

 

Freedom in Christ

September 13, 2008 by  
Filed under Preaching


Brent Amato - Freedom in Christ


It is the best breed of dogs by far-The Labrador Retriever! For the Amatos, first there was Snickers, a chocolate lab who raised the Amato kids and now, Duke, the majestic lab who is my son’s “child” and my wife’s “grand-dog”. As one writer puts it, “As American as apple pie, the Lab is a rambunctious, loving creature…beloved for their endless enthusiasm…” Labs teach us a little about freedom. You see, Duke was born to run free, in the fields of life, or at least in the ordained “dog parks” in the Chicagoland area, without collar, leash or any restraints. Jason has taught Duke well and one of Jason’s commands when they are together out in a field or dog park (a command which I’m sure is Duke’s favorite) is the word “Free”, at the sound of which Duke is permitted to run on ahead or to wherever; free, because his Master released him for that delight. “Duke’s Delight” It’s a picture of Christian freedom. What about you-Are you truly free?

[audio:http://brentamato.com/audio/Freedom.mp3]

For more of Brent’s sermons visit the Preaching page.

 

Sing to the King

September 13, 2008 by  
Filed under Preaching


 Brent Amato - Sing to the King


It’s my favorite Psalm because it is concise truth that always drives me back to the basics. It answers two very fundamental questions: “What should I do every day no matter what?” and “Why I should do it?” Singing is not what I do best or well at all, but I am called to do it! “And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear, and will trust in the Lord.”(Psalm 40:3) What about your “song”? I have some questions for you. Will you learn or remember the “song” God has given you? Will you sing the “song”? Will you sing the “song” joyfully? Will the “song” cause you to…praise God in a new way? know God in a new way? fear God in a new way? trust God in a new way? What should I do every day? “Come before Him…enter His gates.” “Worship Him” Why should I do it? Because of who God is and because of who we are in relationship to God.

Come sing to the King with me!

[audio:http://brentamato.com/audio/Sing To The King.mp3]

For more of Brent’s sermons visit the Preaching page.

 

TEACHER TRAINING

September 13, 2008 by  
Filed under Ministries

Comments Off on TEACHER TRAINING

Brent Amato Teacher TrainingTeaching should be like a good meal, prepared and served excellently. There needs to be passion for the meal. Meals need to be planned, prepared, and presented well. The teacher training material provides the following sections which can be presented in comprehensive training or stand-alone sections;

Passion for the Meal
Planning the Meal
Preparing the Meal
Presenting the Meal
The Culinary School

Teacher Training Course Materials

Teacher Training Course (hard copy)

Teacher Training Course on CD (customizable & reproductive)

Teacher Training Course on DVD (6 session taught live)

Teacher Training Course on DVD (with hard copy & course on CD)

 

Brent has developed and presented the following topics;
Click the title to purchase CD.

“The Ten Truths for Terrific Teachers”
If adult class teachers were asked what is the single most important truth of teaching, what would it be? Maybe there’s a truth or two for you to learn. Come enhance your teaching ministry by comparing notes with other teachers.

“Building a Strong Mid-Sized Group Teaching Ministry”
“If our church has a strong adult teaching ministry, it is because…..” How would you fill in the blank? Come check out your church’s ministry against six “non-negotiable” components of an effective program. If a church has a strong adult teaching ministry, it is because the church…

1. Understands the spiritual gift of teaching and facilitates its proper exercise.
2. Effectively identifies and recruits teachers.
3. Is committed to mentoring and replicating teachers
4. Effectively evaluates teachers
5. Has a curriculum policy
6. Has a teacher training course

The Spiritual Gift of Teaching
Brent presents principles around the following concepts;
1. Challenges for the church
2. What are spiritual gifts?
3. What are the purposes of spiritual gifts?
4. What is the spiritual gift of teaching?
5. How is the spiritual gift of teaching to be exercised?
6. Is teaching one of your spiritual gifts?

Identifying and Recruiting Teachers
If it was “The Perfect Church/Organization”, there would be no need for more teachers.” But since such is not the case, what are you to do? There is hope! Are there some clues for identifying these saints, crucial to the ministry. The answer is yes! Are there some methods for effectively recruiting those who you’ve identified? Again, the answer is yes!

Mentoring and Replicating Teachers
Just like Apollos needed Priscilla and Aquila to enhance his ministry to the Jews of the early Church, the teachers in your church need someone to mentor them and be replicated. This is more “fellow traveling”, so check out that page on this website and apply it to your teachers.

I’ve Got a Question for You
Of all the teaching techniques, what do you think is the most effective? What is a good way to determine if your students are learning from you and connecting with you? Do you know how many questions Jesus asked that are recorded in the Bible? Why do you think Jesus asked so many questions? What do questions communicate about the teacher? What do questions communicate to the students? What are good and bad questions?

Seven Days in the Life of a Weekly Bible Lesson
When do you start preparing for your weekly Bible lesson? The night before you teach or right after you teach? Where do you prepare for your weekly Bible lesson? In your study or in your shower? How do you prepare for your weekly Bible lesson? Just enough or never enough? Come consider what might happen during those seven days.

Creative Teaching
When was the last time you were bored with a teacher’s presentation of the Word of God? Notice I said “when” not “Have you ever been”. We all can recall that “worst student nightmare”. Should not the teaching be that of a “Master Teacher”? Should not the teaching of the Word of God be creative, like God the Father, the teacher of the nation Israel and choice saints, who “In the beginning…created…”? Should not the teaching of the Word of God be creative like Jesus, “the Word who became flesh”, the teacher of disciples, religious leaders and the multitude? Come learn “The Amato Dozen”, creative tools to be used for the glory of God in presenting a Bible Study.

Teaching Wouldn’t be so Hard if it Wasn’t for the Students
You all have some or all of them in your group. At times, if you were honest about it, you would rather they not show up or even worse, you’d like to “nuke” them! But they are part of your group and God has called you to teach them, shepherd them, even love them! You know who they are. I call them the students brought to you by the letter “D”: “The Distracted”, “The Detour”, “The Dominator” and “The Destroyer”. Come learn general and specific strategies for dealing with each.

How are Your Sheep?
How would you like to move beyond the strict definition of a “teacher” (“one who gives instruction and knowledge”) to the “pastor-teacher” referenced in the book of Ephesians (“a ‘shepherd’ nurturing a ‘flock’”)? What might happen if you moved beyond a “teacher-student” relationship to a “shepherd-sheep” relationship? What are you doing about the “straying and other challenging sheep” you are called to teach? What is a shepherd’s “classroom”? What is a shepherd’s “teaching time”? Do you hear your students? Isn’t that bleating?


Steve Lizzio
“I am excited to recommend to you the ministry of Brent Amato. I had the privilege of serving side-by-side with Brent for nine years at Medinah Baptist Church and he is by far the best teacher/communicator with whom I have ever served. His passion for God´s Word, along with his creativity and commitment to excellence sets him apart. He is truly a gift to the Church!”

Steve Lizzio
Pastor of Community Life, Centreville Baptist Church

PREACHING

August 13, 2008 by  
Filed under Ministries

Brent Amato - Chains that BindBrent has had the privilege of preaching for over 30 years in a variety of Church settings.
His sermon titles include…

Digging Deeper into Doctrine

Questions every Christ-Follower should ask: What is doctrine? What doctrine do you know? Why preach doctrine? What are we to do with doctrine?

Chains that Bind

Brent Amato - Chains that BindConsider the scene from the classic, “Christmas Carol” and poor Marley, bound in chains, definitely not a happy camper. We’re frightened by his predicament; our heart goes out to his condition, such a pathetic creature. But also consider poor Scrooge. Scrooge was aghast at Marley’s chains but Marley was burdened by Scrooge’s “chains”. Scrooge’s reply to Marley’s comments about Scrooge’s chains should haunt us. Did you hear Scrooge’s words: “I see no chains”. Is it possible that Marley’s portrayed chained status and Scrooge’s hidden chained status are no different than ours? Is it possible that we walked into this worship center burdened with chains, chains that bind. Part of the spiritual warfare we all engage in is found in the desire of our enemy, as Galatians 2:4 states, “to bring us into bondage”. Paul reminds believers in Romans 8:15, “For you have not received a spirit of slavery”. What might these chains look like?

Freedom in Christ

Brent Amato - Freedom in ChristIt is the best breed of dogs by far-The Labrador Retriever! For the Amatos, first there was Snickers, a chocolate lab who raised the Amato kids and now, Duke, the chocolate lab who is my son’s “child” and my wife’s “grand-dog”. As one writer puts it, “As American as apple pie, the Lab is a rambunctious, loving creature…beloved for their endless enthusiasm…” Labs teach us a little about freedom. You see, Duke was born to run free, in the fields of life, or at least in the ordained “dog parks” in the Chicagoland area, without collar, leash or any restraints. Jason has taught Duke well and one of Jason’s commands when they are together out in a field or dog park (a command which I’m sure is Duke’s favorite) is the word “Free”, at the sound of which Duke is permitted to run on ahead or to wherever; free, because his Master released him for that delight. “Duke’s Delight” It’s a picture of Christian freedom. What about you-Are you truly free?

Sing to the King

Brent Amato - Sing to the KingIt’s my favorite Psalm because it is concise truth that always drives me back to the basics. It answers two very fundamental questions: “What should I do every day no matter what?” and “Why I should do it?” Singing is not what I do best or even well at all, but I am called to do it! “And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear, and will trust in the Lord.”(Psalm 40:3) What about your “song”? I have some questions for you. Will you learn or remember the “song”
God has given you? Will you sing the “song”? Will you sing the “song” joyfully? Will the “song” cause you to…praise God in a new way? know God in a new way? fear God in a new way? trust God in a new way?

What should I do every day? “Come before Him…enter His gates.” “Worship Him”
Why should I do it? Because of who God is and because of who we are in relationship to God.
Come sing to the King with me!

“A Time to be Silent”

Brent Amato - A Time to be Silent“Shhhh!” Well, how was that? What did you do during that time? Some of you might have dozed off. Some of you might have become distracted, preoccupied with a particular thought, thinking about any of a number of things. Some of you felt uncomfortable, restless.

“Come and listen…” Did you come this morning to listen to God? But before you can listen, truly listen, you need to be silent. Did you come this morning to be silent before God? Listen to God’s words. Turn to Ecclesiastes 3; verse 1 and a part of 7: “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven… A time to be silent”. What if you came to church this morning and the sermon was without words? In obedience to the Book of James, Chapter 1, verse 22, let’s be “doers of the Word” this morning and “Be silent; silent before God.”

Do you know what Scripture says about silence?
1. Silence is in part what God deserves from his people.
(Habakkuk 2:20) “‘But the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him.’”
(Zephaniah 1:7) “‘Be silent before the Lord God!’” Hush! Listen! (Zechariah 2:13) “‘Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord….’” Hush! Listen!
2. Silence is in part God’s desire for you.
(Psalm 23:2) “…..He leads me beside quiet waters.” Hush! Listen!
3. Silence is an appropriate response to God.
After Job’s rather vigorous vocal debate with God, he finally got it and his final response was one of shutting up. (Job 42:3, 5, 6) “I was talking about things I did not understand…I had heard about You before, but now I have seen You with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” I suspect this episode was without further word.
4. Silence is linked to God’s blessing.
(Lamentations 3:25-26) “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he wait silently…”
(Job 13:5) “‘O that you would be completely silent, and that it would become your wisdom!’”
(Proverbs 10:19b) “He who restrains his lips is wise.”
(Isaiah 41:1) “‘Listen to Me in silence, and let the people gain new strength….”

“A Time to Laugh”

Brent Amato - A Time to LaughEcclesiastes 3:1, 4a “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven…a time to weep and a time to laugh…”

Laughter is woven into the fabric of life. I suggest that it is an ordained part of life as it should be lived. Who here has not enjoyed a time to laugh?
Now I know what some of you are thinking…

Just great-I come to church to worship in song and giving and hear God’s Word preached. This is serious business! And Amato is going to preach on laughing? Or

Just great-That Amato, he’s Italian and Italians are always laughing. But I’m not Italian, so who does he think he’s preaching to? Or

Just great-That Amato, he’s sanguine and sanguine people are always laughing.. But I’m not sanguine, so who does he think he’s preaching to? Or

Just great-That Amato, he’s oblivious to reality. “When you become an adult, you need to be responsible…and we live in a world of reality which includes difficulties…and therefore, we have no business laughing and enjoying life.” (Swindoll) Everyone knows the old expression: “Life is no laughing matter.” What does Ecclesiastes also say? “There is a time to weep”, so who does he think he’s preaching to? Or

Just great-That Amato is going to preach on a topic that finds no place in the serious works of theology. Who here has ever heard a sermon on laughter? So why is he preaching on it?
Now before you force me to close in prayer, why don’t we start with Scripture? Do you know what Scripture says about laughter?

Last Words and The Last Word

Brent Amato - Last Words and The Last Word“Rosebud”
“Citizen Kane”-Most movie critics list this 1941 movie as one of the best, if not the best film ever made. The story of a rich newspaper owner. Remember the start of the movie which depicted Kane’s deathbed scene and his last word: “Rosebud”, with a glass figurine with a snowy, winter scene, dropping from his hand to the floor. The rest of the movie is a depiction of his life story, but focused around attempting to decipher the meaning of his last word, “Rosebud”.

Last words are significant and many times by the conscious choice of a dying individual, last words reflect what was most important to the speaker, maybe even reflecting that person’s essence, the most intimate clue as to what made that person tick.

My birthday was yesterday-another of the annual milestones, that keep coming at me with what seems to be increasing speed. When I stop and think the number of years, months, days, hours, minutes I’ve logged…Well, I stop and think. More often, these days, I have been thinking about last words, or in a more general sense, finishing life and finishing it well.

One Thing

Brent Amato - One ThingI’ve brought with me this morning six individuals: A rich young ruler, a healed blind man, David, Martha and Mary, and Paul. What do they all have in common? They all have come to preach a sermon to you this morning!

Consider my dilemma this morning. Unlike your Senior Pastor, I’ve only got one shot at you. What should be preached with only one opportunity? I can’t really talk about a lot of things. I probably should talk only about one thing.

And when you think about life, aren’t there too many things? Too many things with your family…too many things in your other relationships…too many things around the house…too many things at work…too many challenges…too many responsibilities…too many things to do…too many things to be. And in our spiritual lives, don’t you feel sometimes there are too many things…too many things to do…too many things to be. How many sermons have you heard in the last year with three points, exhorting us to all sorts of applications…no shortage of spiritual input…Too many things.

Did you know that the Bible talks about “one thing”? It’s what links together the six individuals I mentioned.

One of the challenges of life and the spiritual life is priorities. According to Webster’s dictionary, a priority is “something which we give precedence by assigning a degree of importance to it.” One person has observed, “Most people have not settled the issue of what their priorities should be. Among those who do know, too few live according to these priorities.” Someone has once said, “One of the most difficult things to get people to do is do things in the order of their importance.” Wrong or unwise priorities lead to failure and in some cases to moral failures. Priorities involve focus and concentration which unleashes great power.

Church Between Senior Pastors

Brent Amato - Church Between Senior PastorsIn the past, it was said, “There are two things certain about life: death and taxes.” Can I suggest a third thing that you are certain to encounter in your life? Change.

Change is part of a church’s life as well. Possibly the biggest change a church can face is the departure of its senior pastor. And when the pastor has been around for 21 years, it is change with a capital “C”. Our church in its 50 years has had four senior pastors. Sherrie and I have been attending our church since the late 70’s and have experienced the departure of three senior pastors. Looking back, how have you responded to the departure of our senior pastor? We as humans react in a variety of ways (physically, mentally and emotionally) and are, with regard to a senior pastor’s departure, on a spectrum from “This is the end of our church life as we know it” to “No big deal”. Where are you on that spectrum? How are you reacting? What are you feeling? What are you thinking? What are you saying? What are you doing?

How do you react spiritually to change? How should you react from a spiritual perspective?

Let me change the perspective from reacting to preparing. Are you individually ready for our next Senior Pastor? Are we corporately ready for our next Senior Pastor? Are there any “clues” in Scripture about how we should be responding to our current “Senior Pastor-less” circumstances? Individually? Corporately? I believe there are “clues” and that’s where we’re headed.

 

MINISTRY LEADERSHIP TRAINING

August 4, 2008 by  
Filed under default, Products

Brent Amato Leadership TrainingServing alongside adult ministry pastors and currently leading an Adult Bible Fellowship, Brent has developed a philosophy and materials to help you with your mid-size group ministries. These materials include the following.

Mid-Size Group Leadership
How does one lead a mid-size group? How does one build a team of core leaders for the group? What should happen during a meeting of the group? How does one conduct a leadership group meeting? How does one grow a group quantitatively and qualitatively? Strategies that work and don’t work.

Identifying and Recruiting Leaders
If it was “The Perfect Church/Organization”, there would be no need for more leaders or administrators. But since such is not the case, what are you to do? There is hope! Are there some clues for identifying these saints, crucial to the ministry. The answer is yes! Are there some methods for effectively recruiting those who you’ve identified? Again, the answer is yes!

Mentoring and Replicating Leaders
Just as Timothy & Titus needed Paul to enhance their ministries to the early church, the leaders and administrators in your church need someone to mentor them and be replicated. This is more “Fellow-Traveling”, so check out that page on this website and apply it to your leaders.

The Spiritual Gifts of Leadership and Administration
Brent presents principles around the following concepts;
1. Challenges for the church
2. What are spiritual gifts?
3. What are the purposes of spiritual gifts?
4. What are the spiritual gift of leadership and administration?
5. How are the spiritual gift of leadership and administration to be exercised?
6. Are leadership or administration one of your spiritual gifts?

Conflict Resolution
“You Got Conflict? What An Opportunity!”
What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word, “conflict”? Whether you like it or not, your church, adult bible fellowship/adult Sunday school class or small group can’t avoid it! Come learn what the Bible has to say about conflict, an inevitable fact of life, and conflict resolution, including principles from Crossroads Resolution Group LLC,, including “The Slippery Slope of Conflict”, “The Seven A’s of an Apology” and “The Four Promises of Forgiveness”. Remember Jesus’ words: “Blessed are the peacemakers….”

How’s your flock?
Establishing and leading men’s and women’s discipleship ministries, mid-sized groups and Bible studies may be less about leadership and teaching and more about shepherding. Come learn practical truths about sheep and shepherding that you can apply to your ministries and groups.


“‘The best seminar I have ever attended…I learned more about teaching and leading adults in one day than at any other time…Terrific, need to do it again.’

These are just a few of the comments received as a result of the teaching and lay ministry leadership training provided by Brent Amato. Brent was at the First Church of the Nazarene, Indianapolis, Indiana, in April, 2007 to provide both teacher and ministry training. His presentation on that particular day with regard to teaching spoke first to the “spiritual gift” of teaching and then to the passion for teaching. He then taught us on planing, preparing and presenting a lesson. Brent was insightful, contemporary, engaging and held the attention constantly of all who were in attendance.

Later in the day he moved to ministry leadership training and dealt with such topics as identifying and recruiting leaders and administrators, mentoring and replicating leaders, and Biblical conflict resolution. Again, the teaching was insightful, relevant, current and dynamic.

Brent is a gifted communicator and loves the Lord with all his heart. He simply wants not only to encourage, but also to teach others how to be effective as teachers and administrators. He wants those who teach or minister to become as it says in Corinthians, “living letters written on the tablets of the human hearts, not tablets of stone”. He has a passion for those “living letters”. He wants those who teach and minister to have a passion for Christ and to communicate that effectively by example. Brent’s ministry is a needed ministry as adult teaching and discipleship groups seem to flounder in so many different church venues. His personality and presentation are, without question, the best you can expect to experience. Most of all his love for the Lord comes through all of his encouragement and teaching. It was a privilege to hear and learn from Brent.

If given the opportunity, I would encourage every church with a small or mid-sized group ministry/Sunday School/discipleship ministry or those who should have one to take advantage of this ministry and teaching that Brent has to offer.”

Herb Jensen
Adult Sunday School Teacher

“One Thing”

June 17, 2008 by  
Filed under default, Preaching

Comments Off on “One Thing”

Brent Amato - Last Words and the Last WordI’ve brought with me this morning six individuals: A rich young ruler, a healed blind man, David, Martha and Mary, and Paul. What do they all have in common? They all have come to preach you a sermon this morning!

Consider my dilemma this morning. Unlike your Senior Pastor, Dave, I’ve only got one shot at you. What should be preached with only one opportunity? I can’t really talk about a lot of things. I probably should talk only about one thing.

And when you think about life, aren’t there too many things? Too many things with your family…too many things in your other relationships…too many things around the house…too many things at work…too many challenges…too many responsibilities…too many things to do…too many things to be…And in our spiritual lives, don’t you feel sometimes there are too many things…too many things to do…too many things to be…how many sermons have you heard in the last year with three points, exhorting us to all sorts of applications…no shortage of spiritual input…Too many things.

Did you know that the Bible talks about “one thing”? It’s what links together the six individuals I mentioned.

One of the challenges of life and the spiritual life is priorities. According to Webster’s dictionary, a priority is “something which we give precedence by assigning a degree of importance to it.” One person has observed, “Most people have not settled the issue of what their priorities should be. Among those who do know, too few live according to these priorities.” Someone has once said, “One of the most difficult things to get people to do is do things in the order of their importance.” Wrong or unwise priorities lead to failure and in some cases to moral failures. Priorities involve focus and concentration which unleashes great power.

We’ve been studying the Psalms and I have challenged us to memorize a key verse (Psalm 40:3): “And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear, and will trust in the Lord”-Repeat it with me. You should be singing the song that God has given you and when you sing it, it will change you and impact people around you! But let me ask you
Will you hear, learn and remember the song God has given you?
Will you sing the song?
Will you sing the song joyfully?
Will the song cause you to…
Praise God in a new way?
Know God in a new way?
Fear God in a new way?
Trust God in a new way?

That’s my pray for us this morning! Are you with me?
Psalm 100 is a Psalm that take you back to basics:
What we should do every day no matter what
Why we should do it

Price: [yak_price]
[yak_buy]

“A Time to Be Silent”

June 17, 2008 by  
Filed under default, Preaching

Comments Off on “A Time to Be Silent”

Brent Amato - A Time to be Silent“Come and listen…” Did you come this morning to listen to God? But before you can listen, truly listen, you need to be silent. Did you come this morning to be silent before God? Listen to God’s words. Turn to Ecclesiastes 3; verse 1 and a part of 7: “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven…(verse 7) A time to be silent.”

What if you came to church this morning and the sermon was without words? In obedience to the Book of James, Chapter 1, verse 22, let’s be doers of the Word this morning and “Be silent; silent before God”

Well, how was that? What did you do during that time? Some of you might have dozed off. Some of you might have become distracted, preoccupied with a particular thought, thinking about any of a number of things. Some of you felt uncomfortable, restless.

Do you know what Scripture says about silence?
1. Silence is in part what God deserves from his people
(Habakkuk 2:20) “‘But the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him.’”
(Zephaniah 1:7) “‘Be silent before the Lord God!’” Hush! Listen! (Zechariah 2:13) “‘Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord….’” Hush! Listen! 2. Silence is in part God’s desire for you
(Psalm 23:2) “…..He leads me beside quiet waters.” Hush! Listen! [Repeat]
3. Silence is an appropriate response to God
After Job’s rather vigorous vocal debate with God, he finally got it and his final response was one of shutting up. (Job 42:3, 5, 6) “I was talking about things I did not understand…I had heard about You before, but now I have seen You with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” I suspect this episode was without further word.
4. Silence is linked to God’s blessing
(Lamentations 3:25-26) “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he wait silently…”
(Job 13:5) “‘O that you would be completely silent, and that it would become your wisdom!’”
(Proverbs 10:19b) “He who restrains his lips is wise.”
(Isaiah 41:1) “‘Listen to Me in silence, and let the peoples gain new strength….”

Price: [yak_price]
[yak_buy]

“A Church Between Senior Pastors”

May 17, 2008 by  
Filed under default, Preaching

Comments Off on “A Church Between Senior Pastors”

Brent Amato - A Church Between Senior PastorsIn the past, it was said, “There are two things certain about life: death and taxes.” Can I suggest a third thing that you are certain to encounter in your life? Change.

Change is part of a church’s life as well. Possibly the biggest change a church can face is the departure of its senior pastor. And when the pastor has been around for 21 years, it is change with a capital “C”. MBC in its 50 years has had four senior pastors. Sherrie and I have been attending MBC since the late 70’s and have experienced the departure of Pastor Higgs, Pastor Norris and now Pastor Peacock. Looking back, how have you responded to the departure of Pastor Peacock? We as humans react in a variety of ways (physically, mentally and emotionally) and are, with regard to Pastor Peacock’s departure, on a spectrum from “This is the end of MBC church life as we know it” to “No big deal”. Where are you on that spectrum? How are you reacting? What are you feeling? What are you thinking? What are you saying? What are you doing?

Let me take a different perspective? How do you react spiritually to change? How should you react from a spiritual perspective?

Now, let me change the perspective again-from reacting to preparing. Are you individually ready for our next Senior Pastor? Are we corporately ready for our next Senior Pastor? Are there any “clues” in Scripture about how we should be responding to our current “Senior Pastor-less” circumstances? Individually? Corporately? I believe there are “clues” and that’s where we’re headed

Price: [yak_price]
[yak_buy]

Last Words and the Last Word

May 17, 2008 by  
Filed under default, Preaching

Comments Off on Last Words and the Last Word

Brent Amato - Last Words and the Last Word “Rosebud”
“Citizen Kane”-Most movie critics list this 1941 movie as one of the best, if not the best film ever made. The story of a rich newspaper owner. Remember the start of the movie which depicted Kane’s deathbed scene and his last word: “Rosebud”, with a glass figurine with a snowy, winter scene, dropping from his hand to the floor. The rest of the movie is a depiction of his life story, but focused around attempting to decipher the meaning of his last word, “Rosebud”.

Last words are significant and many times by the conscious choice of a dying individual, last words reflect what was most important to the speaker, maybe even reflecting that person’s essence, the most intimate clue as to what made that person tick.

My birthday was yesterday-another of the annual milestones, that keep coming at me with what seems to be increasing speed. When I stop and think the number of years, months, days, hours, minutes I’ve logged…Well, I stop and think. More often, these days, I have been thinking about last words, or in a more general sense, finishing life and finishing it well.

Price: [yak_price]
[yak_buy]