I continue to count it as one of the greatest privileges in my life to preach the gospel at Redemption Gateway. It’s a daunting task, but also a wonderful gift, as God often uses the pulpit to help me grow in significant ways.
By the numbers, I preached 32 times including Christmas Eve (fewest ever for me), Seth Troutt preached 9 weeks, Josh Watt preached 6 weeks, and all three of us participated in Ask Anything. We also had a number of other Redemption pastors preach, with Tyler Johnson, Joshua Butler, Riccardo Stewart, and Dave Goffeney each taking a week.
10. Salvation Belongs to the Lord (Jonah 2)
The theme of “salvation belongs to the Lord” runs all throughout the Scriptures and in this sermon Josh Watt helped us clearly see that God gets the glory for saving an undeserving people.
9. All of Life is All for Jesus (Matthew 13:44)
This was the Grand Opening sermon and I think encapsulates a key value for our church as well as one of my favorite verses. I hope that whatever influence I get to have as a pastor at Gateway is leveraged so that more people will treasure Jesus.
8. The Provision (Exodus 15:22-17:16)
This sermons stands out to me because I saw Seth go to a new gear in passionately preaching about Jesus. I was challenged intellectually and moved emotionally as I considered how Jesus is the provision for his people.
7. The J-Curve (John 12:20-33)
The “J-Curve” concept (coined by Paul Miller) has been huge for me personally and for our pastoral staff over the last few years. It was fun to get to share this with the congregation and consider that, in Christ, death is the path to life. I also enjoyed sharing examples that show how practical and ordinary this dying to self can be.
6. Saying “Yes” to Gentle Intrusion (Luke 8:40-56)
As we studied the person of Jesus, I found myself so gripped by the story of Jesus healing the woman with the issue of blood on the way to raise Jairus’ daughter. Maybe it’s because I had a 12-year old when I preached this (like Jairus), but this sermon helped me love Jesus more.
One of the saddest parts of 2019 was losing Tom Shrader, the founding pastor of Redemption Gilbert, and a close friend and mentor of mine. Though not everyone knew Tom, his influence is everywhere around Gateway and this message shares some of those gifts God gave us through Tom.
4. The Covenant (Exodus 21-24)
The mark of a good Bible teacher is the ability to take a passage where, at first glance, it doesn’t seem like much is there and to pull out from the text powerful truths. Josh did that in this sermon, helping us see that the Old Testament law should continue to shape us.
3. Love Looks and Acts (Luke 7:11-17)
This 10th-anniversary of Gateway sermon kicked off one of my favorite series on Jesus and how he loves by highlighting that Jesus’ love begins with looking. It inspired a new Guest Services slogan and a cool tattoo of a member who wanted to remember that God sees and loves her.
2. The Plagues (Exodus 7:14-10:29)
As you can tell from the numbers in this passage, it was a huge chunk of text (thankfully Katianna Strunk made a terrific set of graphics that made it easier to follow). As I studied and prepped, I remember texting Molly that I was getting goosebumps as I considered God’s majesty and wisdom. It was easily my favorite sermon I preached in 2019.
1. What to Do With Your Anxiety (Philippians 4:2-9)
Though I said that this is a totally subjective list, in this case it’s also backed by data. Seth’s sermon on anxiety is by far the most-watched YouTube sermon we have. It was timely, thoughtful, and connected with a place where many of live. If you’re in a place of discouragement or anxiety — or know somebody who is — please watch this.
BONUS: Beyond (Last Day at 8743)
I don’t think it was one of the best sermons, but it was definitely one of the most special and emotional for me on the last Sunday in our old building. It was a moment to reflect on God’s grace to our church, to me personally, and to my family over the previous season of our church.