Welcome to Tennant Across the Pond

Thanks for coming by--and welcome to Tennant Across the Pond, my online journal which will serve to update friends and family about my upcoming trips to Formby, U.K.

I will be in Formby twice in the next six months, serving with Formby Baptist Church. The dates for the trip are:

March 5-22 and May 16-July 12.

For updates, info, and reflections, read on.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Counting the Days on My Hands

I've spent a lot of the last week or so preparing sermons and talks that I will be giving over the next few weeks. In fact, most of the day today has been devoted to writing the sermon I give just one week from tomorrow, "Jesus Christ: The Pattern for Our Mission."

The sermon is on John 17:17-19, a little nugget within the High Priestly prayer Jesus offers shortly before the crucifixion. The theme for our trip is "Get Out, Speak Out: The Church Has Left the Building," and I am trying to start out our time in Formby with a Christ-centered understanding of mission.

'Mission' is a buzzword that is tossed around a lot these days, but I like it. It refers to the preaching and living of the gospel and the forward-motion the church should have in regard to preaching and teaching the gospel to the word.

So, I will be focusing a lot of my sermon on Christ's example and pattern for mission. As I study, here is what I am finding:

We become sanctified (set-apart for mission) by and with the word and truth (which is ultimately a Person, not a body of ideas). This means that we are increasingly set-apart for service as we become increasingly more like Jesus; our holiness should overflow into missional activity. A measure for Christ-likeness, then, is discerned by who you spend your time with (sinners) and what you do with that time (share the gospel through word and action). Jesus sent us out the same way he was sent out; so we do the mission he has already started and continues to do.

I am doing what Jesus did--because I am continuing what Jesus began to do and continues to do. I am part of the divine plan to reconcile all things back to God.

This has been a profound day of study (and I feel like the meager words I just wrote do not do the riches of this passage justice) but I will post more of the sermon after I preach it. It won't be a perfect manuscript, but it will be close.

I can count the days on my hands until we get on a plane and leave for Formby. Excitement nearly overwhelms me when I think about this, but there is still much to do. Please pray that I am disciplined with my time and that I am sensitive to His leading.

"Sanctify them with the truth; your word is the truth.
As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
And for their sake I am sanctifying myself,
in order that they also might be sanctified with truth."
--John 17:17-19


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