Does prayer make any difference? Absolutely! And prayer makes a difference because the living God, the Holy Spirit, lives inside the one praying. Further, when God’s people get together and pray as a community, amazing things happen!
Preaching, as a Pastor, is hard. It’s not hard to get up and say something inspirational. It is hard to get up and rightly divide God’s Word, build a bridge from an ancient culture to our own, and then to call people to an appropriate response to God’s revealed truth consistently week after week.
Jesus was more than a mere prophet – he was the sinless Son of God, the human-divine sacrifice for our sins. But he is a prophet nonetheless, and the greatest prophet the world has ever known.
I’ve hung out with megachurch pastors and I’ve read plenty of books and biographies of great leaders. But there is a hero from whom I’ve learned more about relational leadership than anyone else – my wife, Angie Cox.
I’ve spent the last month or so mapping out the next year of preaching. That doesn’t mean I’m preparing a year’s worth of sermons in detail or that I won’t make changes along the way. Sometimes a congregation experiences unexpected transitions or cultural events, and sometimes God just makes it clear that what was planned isn’t the best message for the moment. So I’m flexible, but I want to think ahead.