Bullmore – “Giving Ourselves to God’s WorkSeptember 21, 2007
Mike Bullmore is the preaching-pastor of Crossway Community Church. This week I listened to his sermon, “Giving ourselves to God’s Work.” Here is a brief review of the sermon and things I learned from it. By the way, you can listen to Mike on a weekly basis here.
What was the opening sentence?
‘Well this morning I’d like to ask you to take your bible and turn to two places with me.’
What was the introduction about?
Explaining the context of Haggai by walking through the first few chapters of Ezra, focusing on the rebuilding of the temples over a period of 16 years. He also highlighted the main players in these early chapters: Zerubbabel, Joshua the high priest, the people, and the prophet Haggai.
Roughly, what was the sermon outline?
a) Context of Haggai: Ezra and the rebuilding of the temple.
b) Key Theme: God’s people should give themselves first and fully to God’s Work.
c) Key Question: In what is your energy and your time and your resources invested?
d) Reasons why we should give ourselves to God’s work:
1. Because when we do, God is made much of (Haggai 1)
2. Because when we do, God is present and at work (Haggai 2)
What aspects of Bullmore’s style did you appreciate?
a) Accesibility. Bullmore really made his sermon accessible to people who had little biblical knowledge. He took time out to explain the structure of the Old Testament as a whole (and gave a memory device to aid in this) before taking time to unpack the immediate context of Haggai.
b) Good Application Questions. For example, “If an objective observers looked at the last three months of your ‘spending’ [in the currency of your life], what conclusion would they come to? What about your time commitments? What about your level of comfort? Ask yourself this question: is there something that is keeping me from giving myself first and fully to the work of God…And if there is something, ask yourself: what is it, and why?”
c) Prominence of Scripture. I found it interesting that Bullmore deliberately neglected to mention his points before first reading the Scripture. He would say, “let’s learn the second reason. Haggai chapter 2 says….” Following this, he would then state his second point. By doing this, a certain prominence was given to God’s Word by showing that he was clearly getting his thought from the text.
d) Restatement. Like many preacher’s who are strong on clarity, Bullmore has a great knack of rephrasing both his points of explanation, and especially his application. On some ocassions, Bullmore is virtually asking the same question four or five times, but it has powerful effect because he ‘clothes’ it differently each time.
What will you remember in a week’s time?
Actually, the sermon title. “Giving ourselves to God’s Work” is the single theme that dominates the whole sermon, and Bullmore preaches it in such a way that it will be hard to forget it!
What one aspect of Bullmore’s preaching will you seek to adopt into your own?
Perhaps Bullmore reminds me most of the need for clarity in delivery and unity in sermon purpose.