Pray for me. I’m freaking out.
Why? Because I get to preach to 3,000 or so youth leaders in Austin at Youth Specialties this weekend. It’s my first “main stage” sermon at YS so that’s kind of a big deal.
I know, I know, it doesn’t matter the size of the stage as long as I’m faithful to preach the sermon that God gave me to preach with a pure heart. And believe me, I believe that. At the same time I’m human and struggle with the same emotions, feelings of inferiority, competitiveness, etc as anybody else. If you never struggle with any of these emotions then give your halo a good shine for me.
Why is preaching mainstage at YS a big deal? Because I get to preach to my “target audience”…youth leaders. Although I love speaking to teenagers I’d take an auditorium full of youth leaders over an auditorium full of teenagers any day of the week and twice on Saturdays (or in this case Sunday.) Why? Because youth leaders influence teenagers. For every youth leader at the Austin Convention Center there are 5-50 teens that they represent. Influence the youth leader and you influence the entire youth group.
Why am I so nervous? Because I always get nervous and twitterpated (sp?) whenever and wherever I preach. I got nervous last week in Nashville before my first sermon of the Game Day tour. I got nervous yesterday in front of several hundred elementary school kids doing chapel for Faith Christian Academy. Okay, I got especially nervous yesterday. There is nothing like a room full of K-6th grade Christians school students to make you feel inferior as a preacher.
The reason I agreed to do this chapel to begin with is because my five year old is now in Kindergarten at Faith and Casandra (not her real name), his 5 year old fellow student at school, said something like, “You’re daddy is not going to do chapel and bring you up on stage.” Oh yeah Casandra? Ha! Not only did I do chapel but I brought Jeremy up on stage to do the gospel hand in front of everybody else. How do you say it in Kindergarten speak? Nanny Nanny Pooh Pooh!
Okay, okay there were more reasons than that for doing chapel yesterday. The biggest one being the opportunity to share Jesus and equip these kids to share their faith by using the gospel hand (check out my post Awkward Moments under “God Moments” to find out more about the Gospel hand.) And there are more reasons than just influencing youth leaders that I’m doing YS. The biggest being to honor God with the spiritual gift he has gifted me with and advance his kingdom through the truth of his Word.
As for nervousness, I’m glad for it. It’s nervousness that reminds me to pray. And lately I’m praying all the time!
Bottom line is this. Please pray for me. I’ll be preaching this Sunday at YS around 4ish in the afternoon and need as much “air support” as I can get. Pray that I preach the right sermon and that God’s Word hits the right spot in the lives and hearts of the youth leaders who attend. Pray that lives are changed and that God is honored. And pray that I do this all without passing out or puking.
Take that Casandra!