Month: November 2007

Advent resources

Wednesday we put up the Chrismon tree at our church.  The story is that the Chrismon Tree idea came from a church in Danville, Virginia, about 15-miles south of here.  Last year we moved the tree from the fellowship hall into the sanctuary, and people liked it.  Lots of folks showed up to help this year.  We played a nice Christmas cd over the sound system, assembled the tree, filled it with handmade Chrismons, and had cake afterward.  A nice evening spent with some wonderful friends, as we anticipated the coming of the Christ Child together.   

The Voice is an excellent site with very good Advent resources, including sermons, Advent devotionals, explanation of Advent, notes on the Advent wreath, and much more.  David Bratcher has pulled together some very helpful information.  Whether you are observing Advent at your church for the first time or the fiftieth time, you’ll find helpful stuff at The Voice. 

I’ve been MIA this week because I’m finishing a writing assignment which is due tomorrow.  I’ll post my sermon tomorrow as well.   Peace to you as Advent comes!

threadless today, churchless tomorrow?

Threadless is a community-based t-shirt company with an on-going open call for t-shirt design submissions.”  So, this company is building their whole product on the designs of others, which people are happy to submit, along with photos of themselves and their friends wearing the products.  Pretty cool — get people to design, market, and buy your product.  The idea of church needs some of this imagination.  — Chuck

Tuesday’s terrific technology tools

How’s that for alliteration?  Okay, bad header aside, I do have some interesting stuff today, techno-wise —

  1. Highrise — I’ve been looking for a web-based CRM (customer relationship manager) that was adaptable to church ministry, and I think I’ve found it.  Check out Highrise which allows you to keep track of people, tasks, projects, and stash them all in a “case” that holds all the info on a particular individual.  You can also share information among users (for multi-staff churches) and tags and categories are totally customizable.  Best part:  for small churches you can use it free!  You can track up-to 250 contacts (members, prospects, friends) on the free version, upgradeable at anytime to a paid version.  I’m on the free version now, and it’s working really well for me.  Plus, Highrise is accessible from any on-line computer. Check out how this pastor uses Highrise in ministry. 
  2. TED Talks — If you don’t know about TED Talks, you need to.  Go to to see short video presentations by some of the smartest people in the world.  Read the story of TED, how it started, and what they do.  Then, put TED Talks on your podcasts download for some really cool and interesting stuff.  One of the 2007 TED prize winners was Karen Armstrong, author of A History of God
  3. Cool Tools — Started by Kevin Kelly, Cool Tools gets about a 1,000,000-hits per month.  Pretty good traffic, and lots of really neat stuff.  I just like looking at all the gadgets, and the occasional book that gets mentioned. 
  4. LivingOS — For those into Open Source software, this guy, Tim, has good tips on what works for churches, plus free downloads of worship slides, and good advice on church websites.  Plus, he’s a pastor in the UK. 

My theory is that there is lots of good, free stuff out there that small churches can use as tools for more effective ministry.  Good hunting!

“A Place in the Garden” podcast

chuckwarnock72jpg03062007.jpg“A Place In The Garden”  mp3 by Chuck Warnock, from Luke 23:33-43.  This is the sermon I preached on Christ the King Sunday, November 25, 2007 at Chatham Baptist Church.  It is the story of the crucifixion of Christ and of the two thieves who were crucified along with Jesus.  I hope you find it helpful.

Sermones en Espanol

Sermones en español / Sermons in Spanish
¿Sabías que puedes traducir este blog en español y lo comparten con sus amigos hispanos? Ir a y siga las instrucciones. Via con Dios!

Did you know you can translate this blog into Spanish and share with your Hispanic friends?  Go to and follow the instructions.  Via con Dios!

A Place In The Garden

A Place In The Garden

Luke 23:33-43 NIV

33 When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[a] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.”

36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

38 There was a written notice above him, which read:  THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[b]

43 Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Christ The King Sunday, The Last Sunday of The Christian Year

“How did we get here?” you might ask. How, on this Sunday after Thanksgiving, do we find ourselves at the crucifixion of Christ? This is Christ The King Sunday, the last Sunday of the Christian Year. Next week, is the first Sunday of Advent, when we begin to look all over again for the coming of the Christ. But today, the story of God ends for this year. “But,” you say, “why does it end so grimly? What happened to the resurrection and the hope and joy of Easter?”

Continue reading “A Place In The Garden”

Sermon for Sunday, Nov 25, 2007

I just posted my sermon for Sunday, November 25, 2007.  This is Christ the King Sunday, and my message is titled, A Place In The Garden from the lectionary reading for the final Sunday in Year C, Luke 23:33-43.  It’s the passage where Jesus tells the repentant thief on the cross, “Truly, this day you will be with me in paradise.”  I hope it encourages you in your own study.  Have a great day this Sunday! — Chuck


This week we went over 40,000 views and still going!  Thank you for stopping by now-and-then, and making this a real gathering place for the small church community

Seth Godin said “thanks” better today than I can —

Every time you read something I write here, you’re giving me a gift… attention. It’s getting more precious all the time, you have more choices every day, and it’s harder and harder to find the time. I know. I’m grateful. I’m doing my best to make your attention worth it.

So, have a great Thanksgiving. And thanks.

So, thanks from me.  And have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day! — Chuck

My podcasts on iTunes

We’re podcasting on iTunes now!  I’m pulling all the mp3 files together for the initial link to iTunes, so if you subscribe to the Chuck Warnock: Sermons, etc podcast thru iTunes, you’ll get all the back podcasts in one place.  Hope you’ll visit iTunes and subscribe.  Right now you have to go to iTunes store>podcasts>religion and spirituality>then search for Chuck Warnock.  I’m not listed on the podcast directory yet, but my sermons are there.  As soon as iTunes “lists” me, I’ll provide the direct link. 

And, I’m always looking for feedback on things you think might be helpful in sermon prep. 

Thanks for your support and please pass the word to others.  Since we launched in September ’07, I’ve seen a steady increase in traffic.  In time we will have built a comprehensive sermon resource based on the revised common lectionary.  Peace. 

If gas hits $4/gal, what will your church do?

CNN reports that crude gas-pump.jpgoil prices hit $99/barrel yesterday and are headed to $100/barrel and up.  Gas is already past $3-a-gallon in much of the US.  A gasoline transporter told me that people appear to be conserving more.   So even at $3 a gallon the price is having an effect.  What if gas goes to $4-a-gallon?  I think then we’ll see a serious reordering of our lives and schedules.  If you have not thought about how higher gas prices might affect your church, you need to.  Some implications are —

  • Fewer but longer gatherings to pack more content into one trip to church.
  • Decentralized meetings in homes that draw folks from the neighborhood.
  • Reimagining the weekly flow of church activities in both small and large churches.
  • Re-evaluation of staff responsibilities if there are fewer “come to the church” meetings.
  • Impact on budgets.  Higher gas prices mean not only higher costs to fill your members’ tanks, but higher costs for all goods and services. 
  • Emerging churches might already be blazing a trail for others in their flow of activities. 

Higher gas prices are coming.  You might want to begin to shift gears now.  Or at least think about it.  Have a great Thanksgiving!