Oops! I had a big oops yesterday, but I did not know it until it was mentioned at lunch. I usually put an outline of my sermon in the bulletin. It has the title, scripture, key points and some blanks you can choose to fill in. It goes along with the power point on the screens. Yesterday I inadvertently submitted my outline from the week before. I don’t look at the outline in the bulletin on Sundays because I don’t need it. I noticed some people looking more intently than normal at the screens when the sermon began, but I didn’t think much of it. I got no clues from people, including my wife, that the printed outline didn’t match what I was saying or what was on the screens. My wife said she assumed that she had somehow picked up a leftover bulletin from last week. I don’t like that it is possible to pick up a bulletin from the week before. (Note to self: besides getting the correct outline in the bulletin, make sure the ones from the week before are no longer available.) The good people in my church didn’t even mention it as they spoke with me following the service. Oops!
Now for some musings from the last Sunday of the calendar year …
-Even with my big goof on the sermon outline people seemed very engaged during the message. Maybe they were having to focus a lot more without the correct outline.
-We did much better with our tech issues this week and my mic even worked. It helps when no one messes with every knob, button and slider on your sound equipment during the week.
-I loved hearing the congregation participating as we sang.
-We had a very good prayer time.
-Attendance was down again as illness and travel continued to have an impact. Even with the lower attendance we still had some new people.
-We have several people going through some very difficult situations. It is a wonderful time for the church to be the church to these people.
-I am beginning a new message series this coming Sunday entitled “Directions”. It is studying and finding God’s direction for each individual. I am really excited for this series. I outlined the series a few weeks ago when I was awakened in the middle of the night.
-It is difficult to see some of our older members going through tough physical issues.
-We had a very positive night on Christmas Eve as individuals and families came to take communion. It was so moving to share with these small groups and reflect on what God is doing in their lives at this time.
-We have been very fortunate with the early winter weather. I don’t expect it to continue, but I am going to enjoy it while it lasts.
Here’s hoping that you have a great time of reflection on this past year and an encouraging time of looking forward to the New Year.