#17: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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.

We plan our series way out in advance. There are a couple of reasons for that. (1) I’m a planner. (2) It helps me to have balance in my preaching. I can look over the schedule and see how much time we’re spending on more introductory level stuff versus weightier stuff, and is there anything we’re talking about too much, and do we have any series planned on marriage, how to read the bible, finances? (3) It helps me to preach better. When I hear a story or think of some amazing illustration, rather than having to try and fit it in this Sunday’s message, I’ll look ahead to what we’re doing for the next twelve months, and find the best day to put it in.

So we plan our series way out in advance. However, we are always willing to be flexible if God seems to be leading in a direction contrary to our plans, or if circumstances dictate. This was one of t hose times when circumstances dictate. In September of 2001 we were doing a series called, “The River.” We were going to follow it with a series called, “Things That Make You Go Hmmmm.” 9/11 changed that. Like most churches we changed our plan for Sunday, September 16th so that we could talk about the crisis in our country. The following Sunday we finished our River series. But we decided to delay the Hmmmm series for another time.

Instead we started a new series called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. With the events and aftermath of 9/11 people everywhere were frazzled, and with things we had always taken for granted now crashing down, I think it was an important time to ask the question: What in life can you always hold onto? What are the constants that cannot be taken away from you? In this three week series we focused on three of them: Your Identity (in Christ), Your Intimacy (with God), and Your Influence (on the world).

It was a really good series. I probably should have ranked it higher.

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