by Brad Whitt

Soils and Toils, Sowing and Weeping:
Three Essentials For An Effective Ministry
Dr. Brad Whitt
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

INTRO: I want you to take your copy of God's Word now this morning and be finding your place at Matthew chapter 13 if you would. Matthew chapter 13, beginning in verse 1 and I want to show you this morning what I want to call, "Three Essentials For An Effective Ministry."

One of the many, many hobbies that I've had over the years has been an informal, what you might call a casual collecting, compiling of bloopers and blunders that have made their way into the bulletins, onto bulletin boards or power points of churches. And it never ceases to amazes me how we can say something so wrong when we're trying to say something so right.

For example:

• "During the pastor's vacation, massages may be given to the church secretary."
• "The Boy Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles, and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children."
• The congregation is asked to remain seated until the end of the recession. (That could be a while.)
• Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Please use the back door.
• Due to the Pastor's illness, the Wednesday Evening Prayer and Healing service will be canceled until further notice.
• Potluck Dinner this coming Sunday night - Prayer and medication immediately after.

ILLUS: Of course, here's a personal favorite. When my dad was pastor in East Tennessee, they put the title of his message in the bulletin like a lot of churches do. The title of the message that day was, "Can Modern Man Believe In Hell?" The only problem was that that morning's special was "Who Cares?"

Never underestimate the power of words.

Now, I realize that we're living in a visual world. People stare for hours every day at a TV or computer screen. They go to Redbox or Blockbuster and pick up a video. They walk around with iphones or ipods watching videos on itunes or y ...

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