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Love God: Love Your Neighbor

FineLinen

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2003
Messages
585
Following the death of their long-time pastor, the pastoral committee called a new pastor to come and try out for their pulpit. He came and preached a marvelous sermon about "Loving God, Loving Your Neighbor". The congregation all enjoyed the sermon, were drawn to this friendly and warm minister, so they all voted and issued the call for him to come and fill their pulpit.

He moved his family into the parsonage next door, and his first Sunday as pastor of this church, he preached a marvelous sermon about "Love God, Loving Your Neighbor." Some of the elders thought it was odd that he would dish up a rerun sermon so soon, but they figured he'd just moved to town, spent time visiting some church folk, and didn't have time to prepare a new sermon.

In the coming week, the new minister visited some more members of his new flock, learning about their needs, their families, their concerns, and so forth.... basically, getting "the scoop" on his congregation, in many different versions!

The second Sunday in his new pastorate, he got up in the pulpit and preached a marvelous sermon about "Loving God, Loving Your Neighbor". The pastoral committee was beginning to get uncomfortable, thinking they'd made a mistake in calling this "one-sermon preacher", but they decided to wait and give him one more chance before dealing with it. After all, he WAS very active visiting all the families, and everyone seemed to really like him. Maybe he just needed time to settle in and get comfortable.

Another week passes, and every day, the new minister is out there visiting his congregation, as well as some of the other nearby townfolk.

On his third Sunday, he got up in the pulpit and preached a marvelous sermon about "Loving God, Loving Your Neighbor."

The pastorate committee caught him at the back door after church and said, "Pastor, we called you because you preached a good sermon and we thought you'd be good for us, but you've preached the same sermon for your try-out, and every Sunday since you got here. At first we thought you were just busy visiting the congregation and didn't have time to prepare a new sermon, but this is getting ridiculous. Don't you have any other sermons??"

The new pastor squared his shoulders, folded his hands gently and smiled at them. He said,

Gentlemen, yes, I have indeed been busy visiting all the members of this church, including some who have laid out a while and no longer show up here on Sundays. I've met every family whose name is on the church rolls, and several families who have never attended here. I preached a sermon on "Loving God, Loving Your Neighbor" and then visited some more folks. Gentlemen, I would love to preach a new sermon, but it seems you haven't done anything about the first one yet.
 

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