This sermon is written and delivered by Sue Sweeney and JR. Forasteros
My name is Sue Sweeney and I’m part of the preaching team here at Catalyst. I’ve been on the team for a few years now and I’ve had the opportunity to stand up here and read from the Bible and talk about what God is doing in our lives at Catalyst. If you would have asked me five years ago if I would ever be leading the teaching on Sunday mornings, I would have said, “yeah right!” and then maybe thought later that you were making fun of some how.
All I did was say “yes,” when I thought it would probably be better if I said, “no.” I don’t have time for this! I work full time. I’m a wife and a mom. AND I was in grad school when I first started working with the preaching team. What was I thinking? My husband Jeff and I sort of have this running joke. The weekend before I preach, I always tell him I’m never going to do this again. And then I do it again anyway.
The hours spent studying the Bible, outlining with JR and the other members of the preaching team and sitting alone at my laptop writing and deleting and rewriting my sermon manuscript have all been more rewarding than I could have possibly believed when JR first started talking to me about serving my church in this way. As a result of this experience, I’m challenging myself to understand God’s Word more deeply. I’m preaching about things I struggle with myself. Every time I get up here, I feel like a vulnerable mess. Then, after it’s over, I know the Holy Spirit has spoken through me. It always seems like the messages that were the most difficult for me personally, were the ones that spoke to people the most.
I do this because it’s what our church needs- for the Holy Spirit to speak to Catalyst through a variety of voices and experiences. This is a way that I serve in my church.
“Church” and “Serve” are words we throw around a lot- very religious language. If you grew up in church like me, there were all kinds of discussions about “serving” and what it means to be the “church.” We even had books with quizzes you could take to figure out what the best way to “serve” in your “church” and the building we meet in is called “The Church,” but church doesn’t really mean the building. .
The truth is, church really is more than just a building and what I’ve found, more often than not, serving is about giving time and effort toward something you care about a lot and think maybe somebody else would surely be better help than you, but you do it anyway.