Interim Ministry Sermons


First sermon: This Is the Day the Lord Has Made

Second Sunday: Mustard Seeds

Cross Bearing Series — Luke 9:23

I start this on the third Sunday with this introduction: We are not ready to seek a preacher. We will invest the next seven weeks examining ourselves. When you get ready to search for a preacher, you will invite him to visit you to “try out.” If the preacher is wise, you will also be “trying out.” He will look at your website. Be sure it is up-to-date — you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. He will check your references. He will interview past and present preachers, staff members, and members.

We want to ask and answer these questions during this series: “Is this the type of congregation that a great preacher would long to work with? Am I the type of Christian a great preacher desires to work with? Are we the kind of church whose candlestick is secure and whose influence is positive in the community and the brotherhood?”

  1. Carving Ears, Cutting Out, Calling Angels, or Crucifixion
  2. Cross Bearing — How Can I Deny Myself?
  3. Cross Bearing — How Can I Endure the Pain?
  4. Cross Bearing — How Can I Deal with the Embarrassment?
  5. Cross Bearing — How Do I Choose to Pick Up My Cross?
  6. Cross Bearing — How Can I Keep Carrying the Cross When I am Tired and Disappointed?
  7. Cross Bearing — Why Would I Want to Endure the Pain of Carrying a Cross?

Between Series Sermon: Can We Make Progress by Going Backward?

How Do God’s People Handle Church Problems?

This is early in my relationship with the congregation. I stay unattached to cliques, parties, and special interest groups. We look at Acts 6:1-7 with background and context. The apostles and the Jerusalem church present a great model of dealing with complaints and problems.

I take seven Sundays to work through this outline. Your speed and distance may vary.

How to Survive a Storm and Enjoy the Sunshine — How to Learn from and Grow Through Problems in the Family and the Church

  1. Why Do We Have So Many Problems, and How Long Will They Exist?
  2. What are Some Situations that Contribute to Greater Problems?
  3. How Can Good Communication Help Solve Problems?
  4. Why Am I Often Disappointed in Leaders?
  5. How Many People Should Be Involved in Solving Problems?
  6. How Can Trust Grow Between Leaders and Followers?


I preach two sermons on giving during an eighteen-month interim (more or less). I enjoy giving. Gail and I have been blessed by giving. I want to communicate to other Christians my joy in prioritizing the Lord’s work in managing my money and other resources.

How Do We Discourage People from Stealing Inside the Church Building?


Fasting in the Old Testament

Fasting in the New Testament and Today


This is an important principle in Family Systems. The following is the definition given in The Bowen Center for the Study of the Family

A person with a well-differentiated “self” recognizes his realistic dependence on others, but he can stay calm and clear headed enough in the face of conflict, criticism, and rejection to distinguish thinking rooted in a careful assessment of the facts from thinking clouded by emotionality.

How Can We Be Connected but Not Stuck?

How Can We Be Connected, But Not Stuck?

How Can I Know If I Am Controlled by Something or Someone Other than God?

What Is Holding Me Back?

How Can I Know When I Am Free?

How Can I Lead People to Be Committed to the Lord — Not Other Things or People?

Communication — “I Beg Your Pardon, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden”

This series is taken from 2 Timothy 2. Paul is teaching and encouraging Timothy in a very difficult task — communication

I Beg Your Pardon; I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

What Can I Learn by Listening to Myself?

Who Will Show Me How to Communicate?

How Many Times Do I Have to Say the Same Thing?

How Can I Be Honest Without Getting into a Fuss?

The Parable of the Soils — Is My Heart Right with God?

While jogging, I asked myself, “What kind of soil are you — wayside, rocky, thorny, or good?”. I answered “Yes.” Depending on the day and topic, I have been all of those. I then began to ask if there is a progression.

  • Wayside — no growth.
  • Rocky — quick growth, quick wither. This is better than no growth.
  • Thorny — “fruitful” is mentioned for the first time, but it was choked and became unfruitful. Not where I want to be, but this is better than a quick wither with no fruit beginning to develop. What makes good crops makes good weeds. Setting and enforcing priorities makes the way to good soil.
  • Good soil — produces a crop, some thirtyfold, some sixtyfold, some a hundredfold.

Here’s the result of that run:

Wayside Soil

How Do You Break Up Hard Ground?

Rocky Soil

Thorny Soil

Good Soil

Two Final Sermons

On my last two Sunday mornings, I preach the following sermons

How Should We Treat the New Preacher?

Every Christian Is an Interim Minister


The first Sunday night of each month, I present a “Workshop.” I define a workshop as a message with very practical application to church relationships, business, families, and sports. And, since it is a workshop, I can talk as long as I wish.

The first one is one of the most peace-producing concepts I have been taught. For the first years of my ministry, I avoided and deflected criticism. I feared it. After an hour with a counselor one Monday afternoon, I changed my approach. I now invite and appreciate criticism.

How to Accept, Invite, and Enjoy Criticism notes

How to Accept, Invite, and Enjoy Criticism illustrations

How to Accept, Invite, and Enjoy Criticism audio file

How to Hear and Respond to Malicious Criticism

How to Hear and Respond to Malicious Criticism YouTube (sermon starts at 17:40)

How Can I Overcome My Fear?

Love Is the Golden Chain that Binds

We Need More Funerals and Parties

How to Have a Good Funeral

Have You Been to an Eldership Funeral? blog post

Eldership Funeral Handout

What Did You Learn From That?

Romans 8:28

Romans 14

When You Look in the Mirror, Do You Like the Person You See?

Are You Building Your Life on Facts or Fairy Tales?

Biblical Principles of Success 1

Biblical Principles of Success 2

Biblical Principles of Success 3

Biblical Principles of Success 4

Biblical Principles of Success 5

How to Fuss Fair in the Family

How Can I Be a Healthy Member of a Healthy Body?

When Shepherds Shepherd Shepherds

Will I Finish the Race (My First Marathon)

What I’ve Learned about Life from Barefoot Running

Do You Know Where You Are Going? Are You Lost?