#13: E! True Hollywood Story: Elijah

After 10 years of Forefront we’ve now done over 120 message series. Thought it might be fun and interesting to share with you my top twenty.

In my last post I described a series we did on non-biblical heroes of the faith. The idea there is that God didn’t stop working in and through people’s lives when the Bible was completed, so maybe there’s something we can learn from Christians who have lived since the Bible times.

But we also do series on the lives of people who lived during the Bible times. We’ve looked at the life of Job, Abraham, this summer we’re doing David, but the person in the Bible who’s life intrigues me the most might just be Elijah. Elijah experienced some of the wildest stuff, and some of the highest highs and lowest lows of anyone in the Bible. Making his life interesting, well, it just ain’t real difficult.

To make this series fun we brought in the “E! True Hollywood Story” idea. Each week of the series we did an E! True Hollywood Story on one of our staff members. These videos may have been a touch too long, but I think they were high quality, high creativity pieces and I’m really proud of them.

Also of note: Personally, if someone were to ask me what’s the best message I’ve ever preached, well, I think I wouldn’t want to answer. But if I had to, I might say the sermon in this series on Elijah taking on the prophets of Baal. I later tweaked that sermon and preached it a High School Camp in California. The service was in an outside amphitheater, in the woods, at about 10:00 at night. Part of my sermon was giving the famous William Wallace speech from Braveheart. I had memorized it, and worked on my Scottish accent. What I wasn’t prepared for was that there was a total echo out in the woods. So I would shout out a line, and the echo would bounce around the woods. I called out, “You have come to fight as freemen” (Echo: freemen, freemen, freemen). “What will you do with your freedom?” (freedom, freedom, freedom). … “for one chance, just one chance!” (chance!, chance!, chance!)

And as I stood there, screaming William Wallace’s words in a Scottish accent in the dark in the middle of the woods, with my words echoing back at me, I thought … “I am the coolest person in the world!” (I have never thought that before or since, but for those few minutes, I’m pretty sure it was actually true.)

– featured on newchurches.com