I had delight in preaching a sermon on Thursday to join an "Interactive Cafe" discussion of the message afterwards. (The sermon slides start at this link post). The highlight was in observing how the first application point had sunk into people's hearts. "Yes", they said, "we too are unlikely agents for God's Word and we can serve him".
Then, as a coincidence, the Sunday morning radio sermon that we listen to was on The Parable of the Talents from the Gospel of Matthew. The coincidence is in that the Parable identifies with how people should use the skills that God has offered them for the kingdom. Thankfully, the preacher did something that I think to be rare in preaching from this text. The preacher identified with deployment of both people's skill and money - where many preachers seem to focus only on deployment of money). The preacher did this by identifying three people engaged with an overseas missionary body where the people's engagement was predominately skills based.
Along the way I learnt that the Primate of the Anglican Church in Australia seemingly has not heeded a verse of the Bible. As a result, I've added Ephesians 5:3 as a verse to excise from the Bible.
Finally, another person pointed out a local curiosity - an informative sign before a blank sign:
Now, I find that church signboards can be quite useful. They can be eye-catching and quirky. They can trigger a smile. They are like a newspaper front page headline - perhaps as important as a church's website (Southern Cross magazine, July 2017). They can be cheeky with messages like: "The church is full of hypocrites yet there is always room for one more". Church signboards can be Biblically provocative: mirroring for instance Jesus when Jesus powerfully let the church leaders know that Jesus heals today:
When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
Church signboards can be a valuable ministry for a congregant (or number of congregants) to adopt - a retired person perhaps. I've had a turn at changing a church's signboard message myself. I was disappointed one day to find that someone had accessed the local signboard and altered the letters in a most derogatory way. I see this local sun-drenched signboard as highly valuable in that it faces traffic of approximately three thousand vehicles a day and busloads of people.
Note: all links good as at 23 July 2017
Note: an earlier post recognises that one Pastor was very responsive to church signboard feedback (linked)