I recently finished up hosting a pre-conference gathering at a Missions Conference in So-Cal, hosted by Dr. David Platt and Francis Chan. I was super blessed to have a chance to interview a once-in-a-generation type leader, David Platt (Watch the FB LIVE video).
However, my most memorable time was joining a panel with SUPER SHARP church gurus sharing to a room full of influencing church leaders. We were invited to participate in a Q/A forum where we were asked a series of real-life-minsitry questions. I absolutely loved the dialogue between the 3 of us. I basically had front row seats and learn so many practical ways they served their church. At one point, I began taking notes while sitting on the panel.
Question #1: How do you prepare for Sundays?
At one point a thought provoking question was asked, “How do you prepare for Sundays?” I could have given your typical and proper answer: pray, read your bible, and pray some more. But, I wanted to be more helpful than some parrot-like response. I wanted to take the time here to share how I responded. Pretty much, this is my WEEKEND PRAYER as I’m driving to church. While football players have their locker room ritual to prep for the BIG GAME on Sunday, this is my Sunday drive-time ritual. Father, will you…
- Anoint me with the gift of PROPHECY. Now, this is where I may get lit up by my reform brothers. In short, I take the position that prophecy is the communication of Biblical truths in an eloquent, encouraging, and convicting manner. (Listen to John Piper’s brief audio response on this topic).
Before I speak, preach, or teach, I’ve already prepared ahead of time my talking points. I’ve written it down and gone over them in my head. Yet, sometimes the Spirit is leading me to say something else. No, not something WAY OUT OF LEFT FIELD where it’s not in my vocabulary. But, there may be a Bible verse, a phrase, or a story that “pops” up in my mind, just at the right time, extemporaneously. And that “phrase” will probably be the one line someone remembers that week.
I believe every moment could be a life learning lesson. Yes, even the bad, embarrassing ones. On this particular Sunday afternoon, God made sure I learned a couple of lessons that are probably going to be a sermon illustration very shortly! Below, I wrote 2 sections: 1) The Epic Story & 2) the Learning Lesson. Go head and skip the story if you want to glean the golden nuggets of wisdom God wanted to teach me.
THE EPIC STORY: ELECTRIC CARS NEED GAS
On this particular Sunday afternoon, it was Daddy and Khoi time. We had finished an especially long weekend at church filled with festivities. My 6-year old son and I were heading home for lunch and a nap. And then it happened…
I had been driving my electric-hybrid car all weekend on “EMPTY”. Subconsicusly, I wanted to know how long can a hybrid go with the blinking “E” light. Ok, maybe not. Half-way home, I lost power to the gas pedal. Uh oh… I think I can coast this one to the closest gas station. Then, I had to stop at the red light with cars behind me and of course the there was no more power to the gas pedal. Cars were honking, and Khoi was asking, “Daddy, why aren’t we going?” I already know what my wife would have said, “Why didn’t you fill up when you had the chance? Why do you run it down all the way….”
Next, I did what every other man would do when he runs into a problem. Just turn it off, and start it up again! As if this solution fixed every IT tech support problem with modems, routers, DirecTV boxes, and laptop computer issues. YES, the car switched over to the battery, and I was able to move again out of the ensuing cars coming at me in the intersection. But luck doesn’t run in my family, and the car lost power again as I was costing into the next turn into a parking lot.