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You're the Preacher Today….

Back in April, we did a series of posts asking you for feedback on what you’d like to hear preached at Connexus over 2008.  Man, you guys stretched our thinking incredibly well.

It’s that time again.  2009 is almost here (okay, in preacher world it’s almost here) and I will be plotting out our 09 series with our team over the next month.  Let’s start this way…what would YOU like to hear us talk about on the weekends here over the first half of 09?

As I reviewed the posts from the last time we did this I was pretty excited to see how many of the ideas your raised made it into our series.  I Doubt It was almost entirely shaped by your input.  7/490 was in part generated by blog content. And I know I weaved many of your themes into other messages.

So…what are you anxious to hear us talk about in the New Year? (We’ll do a post on what your friends want to hear next week, so get those conversations started this week).

I’ve got a bunch of ideas swirling, but I’m going to let you go first.

Over to you.   


  1. Carey Nieuwhof on October 22, 2008 at 8:05 am

    We're going to do some crazy generous stuff (for us at least) in our Christmas series, and I wonder if that is one of the best apologetics we can offer to the world – Christians doing stuff Christians are supposed to do.

    Great points Pat.

  2. Pat on October 21, 2008 at 3:36 pm


    You're right about what you say about apologetics. It's not the type of subject that grabs someone's attention ("hey, non-christian, come to church to find out why you're wrong!").

    I also think that series on this type of topic somewhat deviates from what we believe spiritual maturity is. If we believe that spiritual maturity is depth of application, not breadth of information, then we need to be forming series and topics around this. Non-Christians generally don't go to church because they don't see what is taught as applicable to their lives. It just doesn't register with them.

  3. L Fournier on October 18, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Carey, I was just rereading your post of Oct 3rd which asks the question "Who are you building into?". That would make a fabulous series. Really. It is one thing to casually ponder the idea of mentoring someone in Christianity and a COMPLETELY different ballgame putting yourself into action.
    I have met many Christians who can remember that one special someone who mentored them and not only introduced them to Christ but also helped them (in some special way) to develop their relationship with Jesus.
    Many know my story about Joanne holding (hugging) me each day and giving me a 3 minute bible lesson before being permitted to run off and play with her daughters. Well, many of us need to be challenged to do the same. Using myself as an example, being a small group leader is great and I really do hope to impact the girls' lives and provide Christian leadership for them but really, these girls are already attending! Don't get me wrong. Small group leaders are very important and necessary for the kids we have at Connexus but what about the ones that are not attending! What about Monday through Saturday?
    Almost one year ago we all learned a huge lesson of how to be 'His hands and feet' when we left our comfort zone in order to bring 'Church' to the unchurched. Now we need to be taught and challenged to step out of our Monday through Saturday comfort zone and recognise a child, youth, young adult, or senior who may be receptive to a mentoring relationship. Once taught we really need to be challenged to put it into action. It is way to easy to walk away thinking "What a great idea" whereas it's mindsplitting to push ourselves out of our comfort zone to invite our neighbour to church or ask our child's friend "Do you know Jesus?"

  4. L Fournier on October 18, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Can't wait for that series on Prayer. The most important lesson I learned was how to 'listen to God'. Common sense…probably, but no one really thinks about it until someone starts to talk about it.
    I will echo Nancy's ideas of discernment and digging deeper into the Trinity. These two ideas really go hand-in-hand and are worth digging into. If you understand the one you will recognise the other. No?

  5. Carey Nieuwhof on October 17, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Hey all….thanks. One of the emerging themes here is what they call apologetics….defenses or explanations of the Christian faith. Interesting. I would love to think of a new angle on this. I've done apologetics series before. My experience has been everybody wants them until we do them, and then they don't sizzle the way they might.

    Ideas on angles or a way to make an apologetics series "pop"?

    Nancy, your prayer is answered. In three weeks we start an Andy Stanley series on prayer. It's over the top awesome.

  6. Gaye Tomazic on October 17, 2008 at 8:45 am

    Carey: as this question has come up a number of times in my house, my boys are always asking the difference in religions offered by different denominations. A good sermon would be to dig deep and find out the beliefs of each and how it effects the Bible and how each Church interprets it. I question it myself as the Jehovah Witness Church seems to always stand out to me, I respect everyones choice in religion but not sure why it effects our children in school with it comes to Seasonal Holidays. I think this subject could be very deep and would need careful handling.
    You and I have had a few email conversations on this subject but I am sure there are other people out there that have questions but were always afraid to ask in case they offended someone.

  7. Nancy MacLachlan on October 16, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    I have a few topics I would be interested in learning more about. One is prayer. The different kinds of prayers. Taking prayer to another level? What is it? Hearing God in our prayer time. Contemplative prayer etc.
    Another topic I would be interested in is discernment. I know it can be a spiritual gift, but we are all asked to discern to some extent… what is of "God" and what is of the "enemy".
    In the last series, you talked a wee bit about the trinity and how each defer or glorify the other. It would be good to look at the Trinity more in depth and hopefully understand it more.
    Thanks again for asking for our input. It's great having this forum to connect to one another.

  8. Stephen Volkmann on October 16, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    I've heard it said as well, "The Bible is just a book of myths, tales and stories." With each challenge I encounter, I reference the bible and find that the scripture is more than absolutely true. It is the Word no doubt. I don't use the bible as a recipe on how to breathe every day. However, when I'm cornered on an issue, praying and referencing the bible has provided me the best method of solution. And I'm finding that to be true more as I get older.

    The principle of "walking the talk", not just on Sunday holds true in all walks of life; with family, work, sports, at home. I can testify to that in many a scenario because of the amount of times it's happened. My relationship didn't build with Jesus and the Lord because I wanted to love them more. It's grown because of my Trust and Faith in the Lord and in Christ Jesus. They have never let me down. That's His Grace which brings me Joy. (remember, not happiness) and It's Joy which gives me peace when my armor and fuel is low.

    I think people feel the bible is a story to study because we're Christians. My feeling is we Christians need to make a connection to our lives with the scripture in the bible.

    I remember when I was a new christian, just joined a church. Having never read the bible, it was foreign to me. Who wrote it? Who is trying to lecture me on life? Those were my questions.

    I was taught by many very good pasters over time to realize that "who" is God. He is speaking to us through the words of scripture.

    That's why revisiting topics over and over again enforces God's word. Our study groups within Connexus are the perfect medium to further discuss His words, and even further discuss the topics from Sunday.

    Carey, there are daily verses from other websites. I find them essential to my daily 10 min bible study, to keep me on track. Do you think we can run a daily passage from Connexus?

  9. Laurie on October 16, 2008 at 8:28 am

    As I read these comments I see head and thinking issues struggling to make sense of things that have to do with the heart and soul. I think that is what most of us struggle with – that living with our hearts is so hard in these times. I realize how often I cover mine up because it is exhausting. So my question is how to keep the fire going when we're low on fuel.

  10. Tim L. Walker on October 16, 2008 at 1:00 am

    Not sure if this would make a good sermon series, or maybe a better small group series, but I've always wanted a better explanation of why the Bible contains the books that it does (why there are other versions, why certain things were added and/or left out, etc). It may be a more intellectual topic that should be addressed on a Sunday morning, but it's a topic I've run into with friends a couple of times over the past couple of years…

  11. Esther A-B on October 15, 2008 at 10:33 am

    Hi Carey. I have friends and loved ones who don't believe in Jesus Christ. Some of them flatly refuse to believe that the bible is anything other than a collection of mythical stories, particularly the story of Jesus. I'm wondering if it's possible to prepare a message series along the lines of Lee Strobel's "The Case for Christianity" and/or "The Case for Jesus" for those who might give consideration to a belief system if there is evidence to support it. The other area that I am particularly interested in is prophecies, and prophecies that are occuring today (such as the one you mentioned from Revelations a few weeks ago about the moneychangers losing everything).

  12. Carey Nieuwhof on October 15, 2008 at 8:03 am

    Steve…one of the things on the books (in pencil) for February is a series on parenting. What aspects of parenting do you and others most want to see guidance on?

  13. Stephen Volkmann on October 15, 2008 at 5:30 am

    Carey, it's probably because I have two teenage boys that parenting issues are tested on a regular basis.

    The story of the prodical son continues to challenge my beliefs. When discipline takes over and emotions are set aside. Then, there's the time when discipline no longer works. One can only show more Love and Grace even when more discipline, more detentions seem like the right course of action.

    Oh, Pat's question about why it was necessary for Jesus to die on the cross for us. That's a topic requiring a revisit.

  14. Carey Nieuwhof on October 14, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    I am already intrigued. Thanks Pat and Chris. What are some other ideas?

    Sometimes our passion comes from life issues we're struggling with. Sometimes it comes from things that need to be said that aren't being said.

    What's on your mind/hear?

  15. Chris from Canada on October 14, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    @Pat – there is a talk by John Ortberg on that exact topic which is brilliant. I just heard it last week and he basically hits some of the same questions that you are raising.

  16. Chris from Canada on October 14, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    When I'm talking with people who are interested in Jesus and intrigued by what He was all about, the conversations almost always lead to questions about the necessity of the crucifixion. Why did Jesus have to die? Why does Jesus' death pay for my sins? How does the crucifixion allow me to have forgiveness for what I've done?

    I think you could easily build a series around certain events in the life of Jesus and why they have such great impact beyond the events themselves – ie. the virgin birth, performing of miracles, crucifixion, resurrection.

  17. Pat on October 14, 2008 at 9:57 am

    I don't remember where I recently heard this story mentioned, but a story that is seemingly constant in my head right now is the story in Mark 2 when a paraplegic is brought to Jesus by four friends. When they couldn't get him to Jesus, they tore off part of the roof to lower him in.

    The idea struck me of what lengths these men went to get their friend to Jesus. Do we believe in Jesus enough to go to such lengths? How are we investing in our friends? Is there something the church can do to help "tear the roof" off, so people have clearer access?

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