SERMON: In The Beginning
BIO: Mike Colaw began serving in ministry as a youth intern 12 years ago. Most of his time has been spent in youth work. A few years ago he was brought on staff at Crossroads Christian Church in Dallas to transition into adult ministry and preaching. Mike just accepted the lead pastor role at Trinity Wesleyan Church in Indianapolis (trinitywesleyan.com). When it comes to preaching, Mike’s passion is to “realign the church with the Word of God.” He continues “I feel too many churches try so hard to fit the culture that they adapt the Truth. I think we need to adapt culture to the Truth.”
Lenny: Describe in more detail the preaching needs of the people with whom you shared this message. How did the topic of creation intersect those needs?
Mike: While working at Crossroads, we had many young adults from the higher education system who deeply battled the validity of Scripture, as well as even believing in the existence of God. The goal was to lay an apologetic foundation from the Word about the Word.
Lenny: You shared lots of exegetical information with your congregation, especially the meaning of Hebrew words. How do you determine how much exegetical information to take into the sermon without overwhelming and overloading people?
Mike: I believe people want to know Truth. My goal isn’t to bring messages down to their level, but help bring people to a higher, deeper understanding of the pinnacle truths of God’s Word. With this in mind, the question in preaching becomes… “Am I explaining well what I present, and are they getting it?”
Lenny: I love the balance in your message between theology and practice. Too many sermons are full of practical wisdom but void of anything substantial about God. Other sermons are full of theology but fail to encourage people to live into practices that align with their theological convictions. I felt like your sermon was profoundly theological and practical. Were you intentionally going for this? Does it typify your preaching?
Mike: To answer your questions… Yes. Well, at least I try to let this be the standard. The end which I am attempting to achieve is to place a hunger to learn about God in people, than push that truth into behavior modification. I believe people who desire Truth and the practice of it change the world.
Lenny: Participants on Wesleyansermons.com have been wrestling with the pros and cons of preaching from a manuscript, with an outline, or with no notes at all. I saw the video of you preaching this message and noticed you were minimally reliant upon your notes. Tell us how you prepare yourself to deliver the sermon mostly from memory.
Mike: I like the preparation that goes into a manuscript. I also believe you have to connect with the people. So I end up with a manu-line. (That was supposed to be funny.) I will often write out my notes and than simplify them before I go to the stage. I also usually practice preaching each sermon at least a couple of times.
Lenny: You have just transitioned to the role of lead pastor at a Wesleyan Church. As the new pastor of this church what do you aim to do through the preaching event?
Mike: Three things: One, elevate and explain the Word. Two, empower the people for works of service. Three, encourage unilateral accountability on these two fronts.