Critique My Resurrection Sermon

AndyStumpfThis past weekend, Hyde Park, Waterloo and West Loop UBF gathered for a combined Easter retreat in Michigan. It was fresh, spirited and joyful. It was planned, organized and led in its entirety by young leaders–without any interference from old folks like me! Perhaps, that’s why it felt spirit-led and spirit-filled, especially the spirit of joy and laughter that is rooted in tears of repentance. My longstanding conviction has been that young leaders who are called by God may lead in the forefront, while older leaders step back and fully support them in all ways possible.

PreachingLk24onApr19,2014The resurrection is life transforming. In keeping with my earlier requests for critique of my sermons, I welcome critique of my sermon on Luke 24 which I preached on Sat, Apr 19: The Resurrection Changes Everything. I wanted to explain four ways the resurrection changes everything: (1) Life transforming; (2) Scripture clarifying; (3) Paradigm shattering; and (4) King establishing. But I got carried away with the first point and concluded my sermon by stressing that the resurrection is not a consolation for our loss (especially of our dearly beloved ones), but a complete restoration of our loss. (I did not touch on the final three points, which you can read here.)

A non-PDA person. In the first few minutes I expressed my appreciation of those who raise their hands in worship in heart felt awe during the singing. But I explained that I keep my hands in my pocket because I am a “non-PDA sort of person.” I wanted to assure everyone that my heart goes out in worship to my God every bit as much as them with their hands in the air…even though my hands are in my pocket!

Change the world. I began my sermon by explaining my favorite 20 second trailer of the movie Son of God where Jesus calls Peter to his disciple. When Jesus got Peter’s attention by granting him a miraculous catch of fish, Peter looked startled and asked, “How did this happen?” Jesus leaned forward and said, “Come with me.” Peter asked, “What are we going to do?” Jesus said, “Change the world.”

My title–The Resurrection Changes Everything–sounds grandiose. Let me know if my preaching and extemporaneous delivery lived up to the title. Feel free to also share what the resurrection means to you.


  1. The best part of this sermon was when you actually said “I love you” to your son FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME. Talk about PDA-resurrection coming out of PDA-death.

  2. MJ Peace

    I have to re-read your sermon, to critique it, but something I noticed while listening was that you stood up. I was expecting you to pull up a chair and sit down as you usually do when you preach. It seemed uncharacteristic of you. But the audience was bigger than WL, so I guess you need to stand to see everyone.

  3. MJ, I love how observant you are! Before I had to preach, I was actually asking several people and trying to find some high stool to sit on, because the chairs we were all sitting on would be too low for me for the audience that we had.

    I even considered sitting on the table, which would be a little higher than our chairs, but was persuaded that it would be quite weird. So without any other recourse, I sighed and concluded that there was no other choice but for me to stand.