In Touch July 17, 2009
Posted on July 17, 2009 by under Touché,

“Preach, Pray or Die”

Cathy’s grandfather, Henry Bast, taught preaching at Western Seminary.  One of his famous lines was: “A pastor always needs to be ready at a moment’s notice to preach, pray or die.”  I don’t know what Henry would think of my summer slogan: “Preach, Play and Pray,” but that is my anticipation of what my summer moments will be like.

Sunday we will be headed out to Michigan to play.  We will spend time together as a family on Lake Michigan, back in the cottage of Cathy’s cousin.  As the kids have gotten older and are going their different directions I know that these time of play are precious.  It will be a lot fun.

The following week I will be preaching.  We send Andrew and Hilary off to Mexico with HRC.  Hilary will be one of the leaders on the Mexico team, but she will have a one way ticket.  She will move from Rancho el Refugio to Casa Gabrielle, where she will be serving for a year.  Sarah will go back to Riverwoods Camp in Chicago where she is working for the summer.  Cathy and I will stay in Michigan by ourselves.  I will be attending “The Preacher’s Oasis,”  a week-long seminar at Calvin College at their Center for Preaching Excellence.  I was accepted into this program along with 14 other pastors.  I had to send two sermon videos, and 30 people from the congregation, as well as the consistory,  sent evaluations of my preaching which will be reviewed with me by the center’s preaching professors.  I am very excited about this opportunity to refresh my preaching skills and I am thankful to Calvin for this opportunity.

I will also be praying.  Matt Williams, Gary Cassaro, Mark Mast and I, along with the rest of consistory, are shaping a master plan for ministry at Hopewell.  We are doing many things in many ways and a master plan will help us document and work through what the next few years at HRC will look like.  I will be praying about this process during the summer; I hope you will be praying about it as well.

I thank Henry Bast for his challenge to preachers.  I pray this summer will be a challenge for me as I preach, play and pray.   I will be back the first week of August in time for some more inspiration at the Leadership Summit which 25 people from HRC will attend, along with tens of thousands from around the world.

In Christ,