Monday, November 24, 2008

preaching generations

Well, yesterday was one of the coolest days in my life. I got to preach (which is always cool for me, even when it isn't for anyone else) and my son Caleb got to preach in the same service. We actually preached a sermon together and as I watched him preach, I had tears in my eyes and quietly thanked God for this awesome opportunity. He did a great job (how many 17-year old students can talk in front of a huge audience?), but more importantly it was a maiden voyage of sorts for him.

Like me growing up, he's only ever wanted to be a preacher. He has said this since he was six years old and I know what he feels like, because that was my experience too. But you can talk about it all you want. It is in the doing that scares you, overwhelms you, hooks you, ignites your heart and draws you in all at once. When it was all over yesterday, I knew he was hooked! He got to talk on God's behalf and this is a rare and incredible privilege (one I still haven't gotten over after 23 years). But it was a beginning for him. He will train at a Bible College on how to preach. He will grow and have many life experiences and then God will open a door for him to work for some church somewhere. Then he better be calling his old man to have me come speak at his church (I just know it's going to be somewhere cooler than central illinois).

Behind the scenes - my oldest son Michael (our tattoo artist of whom I am equally proud) came to second service yesterday and came back stage after Caleb preached to give him a hug and a "good job". Now that's not much maybe to you, but for two teen-age boys it doesn't get much more sentimental than that. It's enough to make a mom cry (yes) and a dad to smile that wistful smile that says, I'm really filled with joy right now. I went home thinking that if God were to take me home that yesterday would rank up there in my top five for all-time favorite days (and I've had some really fun days!)

So I'll watch as my son grows into a pastor/preacher and hopefully get to hear him preach many times in the future, and maybe just maybe, I'll get to hear his son preach sometime. After all, my father-in-law (a retired preacher of over 50 years) was there yesterday and he saw his grandson preach. How cool is that?

7 comments:

Lindsay M. said...

I am new to Eastview and have only be a part of this magnificent church for the past few months, but this Sunday was one of my favorite Sundays. I am always inspired by the words that you preach and this Sunday was wonderful. Caleb did such a fantastic job at speaking God’s word. How proud you must be! Thank you Mike and Caleb!

Nate and Ruthie said...

Awesome. I got tears in my eyes reading the part about Mikey. You have two amazing children. Love you guys!
-Ruthie

Matt G. said...

I can understand why you're so proud, Caleb did an awesome job on Sunday. I bet he has learned a lot from his dad, the best preacher ever!

Anonymous said...

As a new parent, I found a lot of truth to what you said about not over-stressing and getting caught up in particular parenting methods and "just be a Christian." The most important job I will have in this life is to raise children who come to the saving knowledge of Christ.

As for Caleb, he was very poised and passionate. You should be proud!

bill said...

That is great! It really is.

I remember riding in a 15 passenger van on an Oasis trip back in...probably '97 or '98. Caleb was in the van with us and we were playing a Youth Group favorite: Boundary-Breakers. You were there, Rish was there, Dustin, Sarah, etc.

The question was "What do you want your tombstone to say". I think I said something about singing; Sarah said something about dancing; Dustin probably said something about Shawn Kemp. I don't remember what everyone said, but I do remember your answer. It was, "The Greatest Preacher Ever". A couple other people answered and then it was Caleb's turn. With all the wisdom and sincerity of a 6 or 7 year old, he said, "The SECOND Greatest Preacher that Ever Lived". To which the entire van in unison went, "Aaaw."

I also remember his first sermons (when he was about the same age) that you had taped to your office walls. I think one was about how Jesus is like a McDonalds hamburger.

Anyway, sorry for the long comment...but I am so happy for you and Sarah, and happy for Caleb.

By the way, you need to get that kid to JBC. I do have some 'ins' with the admissions office, you know.

Matt said...

Caleb did an awesome job, and after all the talk about different generations he is one of those special kids (OK I sound old there) that give you hope for future generations.
Also a kind of funny moment for me afterwards thinking about the different generations. I don't think of myself as old (in my lower 30's). After the service we went down towards the stage and he was there. I reached my hand out to shake his and said something like "really good job today". For some reason I was just thinking a handshake...he pulled me in and did the one armed "guy hug". Just funny to me not expecting it and knowing that if I said the same thing to you, I'd probably just get a hug...But its good that he's so open with people of the congregation that he has never even met before...But seems like a great kid with a bright future...

Final thought...Mike, you look older than me...tell me some wisdom you have learned. ;-)

Matt said...

Also...Lindsay. You are right, you have definitely found a magnificent church. I have only been around a few years since my now wife started bringing me, but Eastview is amazing. I encourage you to get involved in any way you feel comfortable. Small groups, helping with the children, or even sports groups. There is something for everyone at Eastview to make your life with God even better...
I have told my wife a couple times, "I think I just need to go to church like 3 times a week." Sometimes its the only place I really feel "at peace"...