Michael Graham[1444]

Meet this week's guest preacher...Pastor Michael Graham

Every week in the month of November, we are pleased to be hosting a different Acts 29 Midwest Network pastor at The Journey.  These are men that we have had the opportunity to partner with in various ministry efforts over the years.  While we all share a common passion for seeing healthy churches planted and the gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed, each of these men bring with them a unique perspective and vision for growing God's kingdom in the context in which they have been called to minister.  We hope and pray that, not only will this month allow us to hear from gifted friends in the faith, but that it will also provide our church family with a greater ability to see how God is working in places beyond Marietta, Ohio.  So, without further ado, it is our pleasure to introduce this week's guest preacher...Pastor Michael Graham from The Village Church in Hamilton, OH.

Here is a brief bio from Michael's church website:

Michael is married to Kim and father of Titus and Irelynn.  He received his M.A. in Theological Studies from Liberty University Theological Seminary, served as a Youth Pastor for 6 years, and led worship for 4 years before planting The Village.

Besides his pastoral duties at The Village, according to Cody, Michael is an organizational master and flow chart ninja.  We have already "stolen" (or should I say appropriated) some of his resources for ourselves here at The Journey, for which we are deeply indebted.

We provided Michael with a brief "getting to know you" questionnaire.  Here it is:

Q:  What have you been preaching on at your church lately?  
A:  (Clever, Cody..! Trying to get us to set up your next sermon series, eh!?? :)  We spent the late Spring and Summer walking through 2 Corinthians.  We just started a 10 part sermon series on the Communicable Attributes of God called "HE IS / WE ARE: reflecting the attributes of God." 

Q:  What’s the latest good book you’ve read?
A:  I'm not finished yet, but I've been reading "Subversive Sabbath: the surprising power of rest in a nonstop world" by AJ Swoboda

Q:  What was your first favorite book of the Bible and why?
A:  Hmmm... I remember being a young teenager and reading Genesis a lot.  I think I did that because: 1. It was at the beginning and I "started" reading the Bible many times, and 2. I was drawn to it because it takes us to our deepest roots of origin. 

Q:  If you had to recommend just two dead Christian authors to us who would they be?
A:  John Owen and (this is totally cheating, but...) I'd recommend reading "21 Servants of Sovereign Joy" by John Piper.  In that book, he takes the life and writings of a TON of dead guys, and compiles them together.  That's you're best bang for buck I'd say. ;)

Q:  What’s one of the most disappointing realities of being a pastor?
A:  It's just really hard.  I get to talk with lots of pastors and it's true for every one of them.  I just don't think there's any way around it.

Q:  What’s one of the most encouraging realities of being a pastor?
A:  Seeing fruit grow in places that you wouldn't have dreamed when the seed was scattered.  And hearing stories of the little things... like hearing of newly connected folks being asked to dinner by other people within the church... and young moms reaching out to older ones for parenting help... the little things that make all the difference!

Q:  What did your wife say when you told her you wanted to plant a church?
A:  "Really?!  Just when our life was getting ready to be "normal..!?" (we were finishing college and going to be teachers).  We haven't been "normal" since and my wife is still amazing!

Q:  Could you link the best sermon you’ve ever heard at a church conference?
A:  "Endurance Needed: Strength for a Slow Reformation and the Dangerous Allure of Speed" by Mark Dever from Together for the Gospel 2016

Q:  What’s your favorite verse(s) in the book of Proverbs?
A:  "Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing." (Proverbs 27:14)

Q:  If someone who has never read the Bible asks you where to start what’s your answer?
A:  John... cause Jesus.

Q:  How old were you when you preached your first sermon and how bad was it?
A:  I became a youth pastor at 21 and preached to students.  That "sermon" felt great, but I'm sure it was horrible, and probably doesn't even qualify as a "sermon" at all!  I didn't preach to adults until I planted The Village (not the best idea) in 2009.  It was not good, and I've only gotten worse over the years. (PS - I'm a #1 on the enneagram if that's helpful.)

Q:  What’s something you want us to know about your church?
A:  We are celebrating 10 years of God's grace as The Village Church in mid October. #est2009  They've been a joy and medicine to my soul, and I can't wait to continue alongside them for decades to come! 

Please join us this Sunday at 10 AM as we conclude our month long series on Gratitude with a message entitled "Thank You Jesus for Your Ascension" by Pastor Michael Graham.

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