I've heard many, many sermons. This 20 minute sermon is compelling.
MarvinMcMickle is the President of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, NY. – a church with a famous history since MLK, Jr. is an alumnus of this school.
President McMickle is also Professor of Church Leadership and Director of the Program of Black Church Studies
In this, 2012 Convocation Address he speaks more directly, powerfully, and clearly about Christian leadership than most sermons I’ve ever heard.
Every pastor in ministry – and every person preparing for ministry – should view/hear this sermon, so I share it here!
It begins with a prayer at the 27:15 minute mark. From that starting point, it is just 20 minutes long – and I will summarize the direction and script of the text below. Hear the Word of the LORD.
McMickle begins by noting that Joshua 1 and Acts 1 talk about a time in church leadership when there was a vacancy - an 'in-between' time.McMickle speaks to “all of you” “preparing for ministry” - which is truly all Christians, though pastors as shepherds of God’s people, for sure.As people looked for new leadership in the between time – they wanted leaders who, more than anything “know Jesus” – having walked with him and talked with him and having been nurtured by Jesus.“Amidst and among all the other things that you learn here – do not lose your sense of Jesus. We will not go with you into your ministries . . . . [Hospitals, Graveside, Prison]. But the promise is that God will.”“'I will go with you!' The President won’t know the route, but 'I’ll go with you.' Faculty will be teaching the next generation, but God will go with you.”“Have the boldness to declare something concerning him!”“What would you preach if Jesus is not raised from the dead?” “Now is Christ risen from the dead!”Now, here’s the trick – having laid out the criteria – they found out there were two capable people.“For every vacancy that exists, God has at least two equally qualified candidates. You are not that special.”“Without God we can do nothing. Without us, God still has a shot!”A great personal story about how Dr. McMickle thought he was irreplaceable as a Pastor and Leader in the church. A moving , poignant illustration that begins just after 36:15.“God has someone warming up in the ballpen.” About 41:00.“Who is Mathias?”It’s a name that hardly anyone knows.“Can we serve God faithfully even if we never gain fame in the process?”
"In this generation of preachers that are breaking their necks for celebrity – [tweets, FB followers, my church is the 'most' 'mega'] – Can you just be Mathias? Name never called? . . . Just promise, that if you serve faithfully unto death that God will give you the crown of life?”“What do you do if your name is not on the list? The answer is ‘Preach on!’”“You will not get every office or honor you seek.”“You may never be ranked to the lists of this or that.”“Will you therefore get mad or walk away?”“You do know there is always someone around just as good as you. You must know that there will be times that your name will not be called even when you serve faithfully. And if you don’t get what you seek, will you stay and serve or sulk and leave?”If I Can Help Somebody (A. Bazel Androzzo, © 1945, Alma B. Androzzo)
If I can help somebody as I pass along,If I can cheer somebody with a word or song,If I can show somebody he is trav’ling wrong,Then my living shall not be in vain.Then my living shall not be in vain,Then my living shall not be in vain;If I can help somebody as I pass along,Then my living shall not be in vain.If I can do my duty as a Christian ought,If I can bring back beauty to a world up-wrought,If I can spread love’s message that the Master taught,Then my living shall not be in vain.Then my living shall not be in vain,Then my living shall not be in vain;If I can help somebody as I pass along,Then my living shall not be in vain.“Let your journey begin today.”