How Using Sermons as Sunday School Lesson Content Has Been a Win

The Unexpected Benefit of Leading a Sunday School Class

This week’s sermon was the best one ever…

This inside joke was said again this week in our Sunday School class. It has been said many times and for multiple weeks in a row. Actually, there is some truth to this.

You know how when you’re watching a television series or reading a book series and the most recent one is so good that you don’t think it can ever be topped…and then the next one is better.

This is how Pastor Lee’s sermons have been. We are surprised about how they just keep getting better.

Several years ago, our Sunday School class was looking for some lesson material, and we decided that until we found something, we would discuss each week’s sermon.

This happened back in November of 2013, and we been using sermons as our lesson topic since…that’s a lot of sermons…almost 500.

As we began this process, I realized that as the leader of this Sunday School class, I was going to need to pay close attention to the sermons. Now the pressure was on…

One of the things that I did to help me focus on the sermons was to take notes. The act of taking notes was one of the most beneficial things. It made listening, a higher priority. This listening allowed me to get a lot more from the sermons.

Pastor Lee is only going to be in our pulpit a couple more weeks. We are going to miss him and his wonderful messages more than he knows. He has been here at Tisdale for eight and a half years, so our Sunday School class has discussed his sermons more than any others. How will we ever manage…

There are three elements that Pastor Lee puts in every sermon…humor, knowledge, and inspiration. He connects these three things to God, the Bible and life. These are the things that make up our faith stories. Everyone’s faith stories are different, but…

God and His message are universal, eternal, and absolute.

Now to this week’s sermon –

The humorous story – There was a young police officer who was testifying in court against a man arrested for robbery. The defendant was being represented by a hard-nosed attorney known to be tough on police officers. The attorney was trying to undermine the policeman’s credibility.

The attorney asked the policeman, “Did you see with your own eyes my client committing this crime?” The officer replied, “No, I didn’t see him do it, but my partner did.” The attorney asked, “And you trust your partner that much?” The police officer replied, “Yes, I trust him and all of my fellow officers with my life.”

Now the attorney thought he had the officer right where he wanted him.

“Officer, do you have a locker in a locker room, and do you keep your locker locked?” The policeman said, “Yes.” Then the attorney asked, “If you trust your life to these people, why do you not trust them with what’s in your locker?”

The young police officer said, “You see sir, we share this building with the court complex and sometimes lawyers walk through the building.”

The court room erupted in laughter and was adjourned.

After Jesus’ crucifixion, His followers were not sure about what they were supposed to do. In their uncertainty someone like this attorney could make them doubt what they were supposed to do going forward.

In Matthew 28:16-20, Jesus, after being raised from the dead, met with his eleven disciples and told them what to do.

Knowledge – The disciples were given authority and were told to go out into the world, to all the people and to share His message. The same thing we’ve been called to do.

Jesus doesn’t need us. He could make everyone believe if He chose to. He can do anything and everything. But this isn’t the way He chose. He wants us to share His message. We are to build the church, share the Sacraments, and share ethics and morals.

Inspiration – Bob Pierce was inspired to start World Vision by three women missionaries, but the vision started with his high school Sunday School teacher, Elizabeth Hunter (Sales).

Every week she would make stories from the Bible come alive for a group of active teens, challenging them to use their lives to make a difference in Jesus’ name.

Throughout his life, Bob credited Miss Hunter with first challenging him to ministry. His daughter never realized how deep that challenge went until she discovered a small blue book in her father’s library.

On the first page there was an inscription dated Christmas 1928: “To Bob from Miss Hunter. My prayer and deepest desire for you is Matthew 28:18-20.

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations. …”

Your prayers were answered, Miss Hunter.

The disciples were sad at Jesus’ leaving and felt lost.

They used what they had learned from Him and their time together and went out and spread the Word to everyone everywhere. We now need to do the same thing as the disciples.

We are sad that Pastor Lee and Kay are leaving but we need to take what we’ve learned from him and our time together and share that message with those we encounter.

Sharing the humor, knowledge, and inspiration from his sermons in our Sunday School class has been an unexpected benefit that will have a lasting impact on me, and those I have shared them with.

Thank you, Pastor Lee!

A Lot of Things are True…But There is Only One Truth

Belief is Important, But Not as Important as WHAT You Believe in

We are bombarded with information that is presented as true. The flood of information that is out there today makes it hard to know what to believe.

We take something at face value only to find out later that it isn’t true.

Knowing what to believe can be a challenge.

How do we know what to believe?

Knowledge is an important thing, but if we aren’t careful, it takes the place of faith. What we put our faith in is the key to unlocking the life we were meant to have.

Real faith is believing in something bigger than knowledge.

In Mark 9:14-29, Jesus’ disciples were unable to release a boy from his demon. The father of the boy asked Jesus to. “Help us if You can.” Jesus replied, “Why do you say, ‘if You can’?

Anything is possible for someone who has faith!”

At once the boy’s father shouted, “I do have faith! Please help me to have even more.”

After Jesus and His disciples had left and were alone, they asked Him, “Why couldn’t we force out the demon?”

Jesus answered, “Only prayer can force out this kind of demon.”

It appears that the disciples’ efforts were short on faith. For prayer to work we have to have faith.

Knowledge is important but it’s limited.

Faith, on the other hand…if we truly have it, has no limit. Jesus’ followers ask to have their faith made stronger in Luke 17:5-6. He tells them, that if they have faith as small as a mustard seed, they can tell a mulberry tree to pull itself up and plant itself in the ocean and it will.

When it comes to our eternal life…faith in the wrong thing isn’t good either.

Earlier in Luke 17, Jesus tells his disciples that, “Anyone who causes another person to sin, is in for trouble. It would be better for them to be thrown into the ocean with a heavy stone tied around their neck.

He goes on to say that we are to “correct followers who sin and forgive the ones who say they’re sorry.”

This sounds pretty straight forward. If we sin, we are to ask for forgiveness not look the other way.

It doesn’t say it’s okay to sin.

If we believe that Christ is God and that He came to earth as a man and that He is our only way to Heaven…then we need to believe everything He tells us in His Word.

If we believe this, then He is the one and only Truth that we can believe in.

Wouldn’t It Be Nice to Know Everything About Everything?

But Since This is Impossible, I Recommend Getting the Help of a Professional

You’ve probably met people that think they know everything about everything. And there is no convincing them otherwise.

There certainly are people who know more than I do, but it’s not about knowing everything or who knows the most.

It’s about knowing what you know and using that knowledge to help others.

Last week I wrote about construction questions and answers. I used a window project as an example. You might remember that the customer had received a quote for more than $36,000 to replace thirteen windows.

After I looked at the project it was clear that only one needed replaced. I told you that I would let you know what I came up with. I gave them a proposal to replace one window and repair some of the wood finish on the rest.

My price for this was $4,771.71. That’s 86% less than the original price.

It’s less about the price and more about the work that “actually” needed to be done.

The real issue with this project like many others is in finding what the customer needs and not trying to sell them as much as you can. The focus on selling rather than service is prevalent.

This level of service requires asking questions and listening to the answers. Finding out what it is that the customer wants and needs.

This is what professionals do. Professionals help you find the solution to YOUR problem, not give you a one size fits all answer.

Because we don’t know everything about everything, means we need to find someone that knows something about something.

I’m sure I could find information about how to do brain surgery online…but if I needed brain surgery…I would find someone that has experience and specializes in that. I haven’t seen any DIY brain surgery shows yet.

Granted, if you have a construction project go bad it’s not the same as brain surgery.

My point is this. When doing a construction project, you may not even know what you don’t know. This is where the guidance of a professional comes in. This is not to say that every building contractor is a competent, skilled professional.

I’ve heard too many people complain about their bad construction experience. Every time it came down to them making decisions without due diligence.

Almost always it comes down to being sold rather than serviced.

To minimize the bad construction experience you need to be clear on what’s most important. Is it price or quality? Is it having it done fast or waiting for the skilled professional?

Most of our construction projects come from references and recommendations. The ones that don’t start with building a relationship, not selling.

If you or someone you know is considering a construction project, I would recommend spending the time and energy in finding the right professional and asking the right questions.

Who Are You at War With?


It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way


A very successful businessman had succeeded at achieving most of his goals both business and personal. Yet, he still struggled with feelings of depression and anxiety. While in a hotel room on a business trip he became so depressed that he considered taking his life. As he sat there struggling with why he felt the way he did after all his success, he asked God, “Is this a joke?” Then he heard a voice say, “It doesn’t have to be that way.”


We can find ourselves fighting internal battles trying to figure out why things aren’t the way we thought they would be. We all have our own demons causing trouble. Like the man in Luke 8:26-37, there is help in fighting these battles, but it’s up to us to acknowledge it. Jesus asked the demon for his name and they answered Legion, because there were many.


Knowledge is power and power is in the naming of something.


When we are clear about problems and name them, it’s less threatening when we know what it is. We want to blame somebody for our problems, but we need to be careful about this. There are three fights regularly picked that are unproductive. Don’t be at war with the wrong enemy.


1st – Don’t be at war with yourself. Many of us are harder on ourselves than anyone else. We blame ourselves for everything that is wrong in our life. We are extremely critical of not having accomplished all that we think we should.

2nd – Don’t be at war with other people. Maybe we are looking for somewhere else to lay the blame, so we point the finger at others. It’s not my fault so it has to be somebody else’s. We don’t want to take responsibility.

3rd – Don’t be at war with God. Life is full of difficulties and hardships. It’s not fair that this happened to me or that I was born this way. Whose fault is it? It must be God’s fault. We forget that we live in a fallen world full of battles.


Satan wants us to be at war with ourselves, our neighbors and God. This is what he does. We need to be clear on who the war is with.

Remember that you have the power to choose who you are going to be at war with. No matter what’s going on in your life, IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY.