It is Advent and, if your church is anything like mine, the church is in full Christmas mode. We have our best sermon series, our best music, our best decorations, all building to our Christmas Eve service! It is going to be incredible!!!
But then, in just a few short days after Christmas, everything will go dark. Everyone goes on vacation, including the Lead Pastor. That means that it is once again time for that time-honored tradition of “Youth Pastor Sunday.”
“Youth Pastor Sunday” is that Sunday that comes around once or twice a year. While Memorial Day weekend or Labor Day weekend are contenders, no Sunday has more youth workers preaching than the Sunday after Christmas.
For most youth workers preaching in Big Church is not part of our regular diet. And because of that we often find ourselves a little overwhelmed, out of practice and swinging way too hard. And this is where Zach Sewell’s new book, A TIME TO PREACH, comes in. This short read is the perfect coach for those who find themselves as the occasional preacher in their church context.
As someone who has spent over 20 years in the relief pitching position at their church, I could resonate with every page of this book.
It really is a strange space to occupy, and this uniqueness can allow you to develop and grow professionally as well as be a benefit to your congregation in so many ways. But to do both, it takes some humility, intentional thought, and some hard work.
I loved Zach’s book because it is the exact prescription for the occasional preacher. He takes the task seriously and frames this unique moment with hope and purpose.
So much of how well we preach begins with understanding the moment we find ourselves in. To see the holiday weekend as not a throwaway message, but a special meal, a middle inning in an important baseball game, and to take it seriously. But even more than understanding the moment, Zach does an incredible job of helping young and developing preachers understand the actual task of preaching. He gives excellent advice, helps navigate some significant landmines, and even shares some of his outlines.
A TIME TO PREACH is an essential book for those who find themselves preparing for “Youth Pastor Sunday.” I am thankful for Zach, his voice, and his pastoral care for those on the front end of their pastoral career. Thanks, amigo for a great resource. You should consider picking up a copy and reading through it before you preach on December 30th.