Ken Murphy is the lead pastor at Cypress Wesleyan Church in Galloway, Ohio a suburb of Columbus Ohio. Though Ken has declined to do a written interview for sermons on this site due to his heavy schedule, he is willing to let us use his sermons as centers for discussion.
This sermon is his sermon “The YES that impresses God.” In the sermon Ken adjusts his official title to “The YES that pleases God.” I want to highlight several factors of this sermon that make it worth studying and learning from in my opinion:
- This sermon translates holiness theology for contemporary listeners. What has been traditionally been called “total consecration” is addressed in this sermon through themes of “saying yes” and surrender of our experience to the authority of scripture and church communities. He also connects it with old testament themes of sacrifice translated for contemporary faith.
- This sermon translates scriptural narrative for unchurched listeners. Ken Murphy consistently addresses his sermon to the reality of a biblically illiterate congregation. Yet rather than leave listeners biblically illiterate he brings them up to speed. He does this while still highlighting fresh details of familiar biblical stories to press biblically literate listeners forward.
- This sermon weaves together preaching with leading. You’ll notice as you listen to this sermon that the pulpit is a primary leadership tool in Ken Murphy’s tool box. He is leading Christ’s church at the same as he is proclaiming God’s Word.
- This sermon weaves together traditional preaching and creative use of other means to proclaim. Live testimonies, video testimonies, and probing questions are just some of the means he uses in this particular sermon. If you watch several of Ken’s sermons you will notice that he consistently shakes up the modality of media that he uses utilizing not only screen technologies and live testimonies, but also things as basic as a marker version of a “blackboard” and well known cultural artifacts like game boards.
Enjoy this sermon paying attention to these efforts to translate the faith and to weave together creative means to do so. What else did you notice in this sermon that preachers can learn from? What would you do differently than Ken in your context in terms of cultural translation or creative weaving? We look forward to reading your thoughts below.
Check out Ken Murphy’s blog, “Life & Leadership” here.