Class Audio Link – Intro & Words – July 22nd, 2018
Sermon Audio Link – July 22nd, 2018 – “Leading Your Flock”
‘Intro & Words’ – Christian Morals & Ethics #1
- Source – Much of this class is based on two additional sources as well as Scripture –
- Introduction to Ethics, Amridge University course by Dr. Joel S. Williams
- Anderson, Kerby. Christian Ethics in Plain Language. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
- Vocab Review
-Study of the rules of right & wrong
-Appreciation & justification of goals we strive for, ideas we admire, & the laws we think it right & necessary to obey (Solomon, Ethics, 1984)
-What ‘is’, the actual practice of a person or group , how life is lived
-Rules, guidelines, standards in an ethical system
-What is highly sought or praised by someone or a society
-A general concept expressing the worth of a value
-Way of thinking that emphasizes pleasure as life’s purpose
-Belief of no universal absolutes
-Basing goodness of an action based upon consequences, if it brings the greatest good to greatest number of people
We just managed to get into how many ethical systems only focus on 2 of the 3 main ethical focuses at a time (Inner Self, Action, & Consequence), especially in terms of relativism & absolutism, which is where we’ll start next week (July 29th).
Just a comment about the three focuses and how they relate to Christianity. If you were to read what is commonly called “The Golden Rule” from Matthew 6 – do to others as you would have them do to you – you find these three focuses right there. It starts with all three – YOU (self) DO(action) TO(consequence) others – and then ends with all three – as YOU(self) would HAVE (consequence) them DO (action) to you. This says it’s just not about the action & you, or the consequence & you, or just the action & consequence.
This teaching inherently makes us examine our motives for what we do, why we do them, what we do, & how they affect others, all (in a narrow context) to affect what is done to us (both action & consequence). Just food for thought, and a proof that Scripture does in deed focus on all three.
“Leading Your Flock” – Luke 15:1-7, John 10:1-10
- As was said, some of the words & concepts in this sermon were used from They Smell Like Sheep by Dr. Lynn Anderson. Like about every book I reference in a sermon, I’d recommend it.
We discussed how there is a word for shepherd used in Scripture as a title/position, but also how the verb form, as in to shepherd, can apply to everyone. We talked about how leadership is often misapplied or seen incorrectly(sheriff, cowboy, CEO terms from the book). We also talked about how relationship is the key to shepherding, being available, committed, & trustworthy.
Several months ago when my family was going through some hard times and I preached several very honest, very vulnerable sermons, our congregation it seemed experienced a mini-revival of the importance of relationship & what that means – honesty, openness, and indeed vulnerability. In fact it was said in class that someone for the first time could truly be honest & open with what they were going through. While assembly can’t always be that intense & emotionally directed, it was an uplifting time for many.
The sole point I want to make is that relationship, true relationship, can’t happen solely on Sunday morning. While we who gather Sunday after Sunday have a certain bond in Christ & an inherent spiritual relationship, relationships that result in wanting to be available for one another, desiring & intentionally committing to being there for one another, and through all that trusting one another with various things, comes in & from much time spent with one another. Not just a quantity of time, but a quality of time (shout out to the 5 Love Languages, woot woot).
I doubt there are many reading this who don’t know that, but the question is do you believe it? I’ll tell you a ministry secret – a year of sermons is far worth less than a deep, intimate friendship between two Christians. I’ll tell you another secret – far more people in the community can be influenced for Christ by every member here taking their life relationships seriously than an church outreach event once a week.
Now this may seem overwhelming, even just in the congregation. “You mean I have to have a close, personal relationship with all 74 other people in this congregation?!?! And do that with as many people in the community?!?!” While that’d be nice, I’m not saying that. I’m saying two things.
Find someone’s flock to be in who can lead you closer to Jesus.
Find your own flock to lead closer to Jesus.
That can be a flock of 2 or a flock of 30, numbers don’t matter. What matters is your willingness to lead.
So where’s your flock? Who’s in it? And where are you going?
I love you, and I’m praying for you.