I preached to 633 people on October 10th, 2010. Preaching on 10.10.10 meant a lot to me. Andrew and I once planned to get married on 10.10.10. Venues were full, the engagement seemed too long, and we moved our wedding to 7.10.10. Instead of standing at the altar on 10.10.10, I stood at the pulpit.
At Lindenwood, ministers usually turn in sermon drafts two weeks in advance. We need to coordinate the media ops, visual representation on the order of worship, music selections, prayers, communion reflections… the list goes on. All of our 81 staff people need to plan for the service. We start the planning with the scripture and sermon. As a last minute person, I worried about the 2 week deadline.
I also worried about my content. As I prepared my sermon, at first my worries paralyzed me. I drew a blank. I felt like my sermon must live up to all the expectations and hopes that my new congregation must have for me.
To make a long story short, I focused and stretched myself. I made the 2 week deadline. I wrote a sermon from my heart.
The senior minister brought in a drama coach to work with me on my delivery. The media ops team worked with me to set my microphone on the right frequency. The worship planning team worked with me to develop a slide show to accompany my sermon. By the time 10.10.10 arrived, I felt ready and calm.
633. A month ago, that number would have terrified me. But after all of the support and encouragement I received as I prepared for the service, I preached from the pulpit with the assurance that I would survive.