I have not preached in the Mandarin service for some years. With the young preachers of the English congregation taking the pulpit regularly as part of their development, I thought it good to deposit something of myself in the Mandarin and deaf congregations. Pastor Edmund the Mandarin congregation pastor welcomed me to preach yesterday.
I began my preparation last week praying for the congregation and thinking about the composition of the group of 60 plus believers. The age groupings, the needs I could imagine such age groups would have, the actual needs that I know of, and the challenges the congregation was facing.
I looked at a few of the messages I preached last year in the English Service and prayerfully thought of using one of them. Truth is both timely and timeless. So I looked for a sermon with timeless truths that apply to their life situation making them timely!! I finally settled on one message and copied it and renamed the file and started editing it prayerfully. I call this a “microwave sermon”. The microwave is the prayer preparation and the modifications.
I had to change the number of verses to exposit from five verses to simply one verse. From three main points in the sermon, I focused on two. The message was interpreted so the time taken would be double. I did not want it to be a lengthy sermon so I shortened the passage, and the number of main points.
The applications and the conclusion had to change too. I had to share more illustrations and stories. This modification went on right to the time when the service began. As we stood and worship the Lord in the Mandarin congregation, thoughts flashed by and I had to change the introduction.
The heart of the message remained the same. It was like a house renovation.
In the end, I preached the sermon and enjoyed doing so. The Spirit was upon me to preach good news to the believers. I hope they enjoyed it and found it inspiring and that the message brought them closer to God.
After the service they had lunch. So I sat down and chatted with a couple there. It was a meaningful Sunday.