Jeremiah Sermon Series: Learning how to teach my flock to endure persecution (no, really, this is one reason I'm preaching through Jeremiah)
This morning on the Sidewalk and at Sunday service tomorrow, I begin a series through the prophet Jeremiah’s book. What got the ball rolling in my thought process—on why did I pick Jeremiah as the next series—was a question I had been asking since my alma mater’s (Crown College’s, aka St. Paul Bible College’s) 100th anniversary’s gathering a few years ago.
At one of the weekend’s events, they gathered together the previous Crown presidents for a Q&A. The final question was, “What is one thing that isn’t being taught at Crown College that needs to be taught at Crown College?”
The last answer came from the oldest and most senior of the former Crown College presidents (he was back in the 70s; I was there ’81-’84), Dr. Grubbs, a kindly and wise Christian & Missionary Alliance elder statesman; he said: “How the students will endure persecution.”
This stuck with me. For years, now, his answer has been festering in my heart and thoughts during my time here as a pastor in the Hill: Am I teaching my flock how to endure persecution? Do I even know how to teach them how to endure persecution?
So, I have been asking myself, “How do I teach my CPC in The Hill flock to endure persecution?”
As I was finishing up my sermon series through Galatians, I had been praying, “What’s next?” The Book of Jeremiah seemed to be what was being presented—almost everywhere I turned (books and material I was reading; podcasts I was listening to; casual conversations) pointed to Jeremiah. So, I am preaching through Jeremiah—both to listen for myself and to help my people reflect on that question: “How does a Christian, a church, endure persecution?”
And then, hopefully, answer the question for myself, “How, as a pastor, do I train/teach my CPC in The Hill flock to endure persecution? How?”
I think Jeremiah will help answer all these related questions.
*We will get to what “persecution” is in the coarse of the series.
Chip M. Anderson, advocate for biblical social action; pastor of an urban church plant in the Hill neighborhood of New Haven, CT; husband, father, author, former Greek & NT professor; and, 19 years involved with social action.