Archive for December, 2010

Sermon Preparation – Growth process

December 30, 2010

Things I struggle with:

Details – I am a very detail orientated person so I work hard to make sure there is scriptural backing to just about everything I put in the sermon. Sometimes that makes it had to keep sermons short. I have no problem staying on point. Yet, I routinely wind up asking myself how does a person know when there is too many details in a sermon… even if they point to the same theme.

Length – Different churches expect different sermon lengths. Right now, I am at the point of my sermon writing where sermons run anywhere between 15-18 minutes. I come from an upbringing that has taught me a few things… 1) Preach the Word and ignore time, 2) keep the hearer engaged and they won’t worry about time, 3) and finally stop worrying about time, let God do what God’s best and get out-of-the-way.

Memorization – as previously mentioned brute memorization for short-term memory is one of my biggest flaws. I am a long-term memory guy meaning I can still remember events from my early childhood. However, the thought of trying to memorizing a sermon in less than a week is a daunting task. So, this will be a work in progress. It doesn’t help that my sermons as so detailed. My last sermon had an additional 7 supporting verses throughout.

Does anyone have any issues connect to their spouse or family when preaching?

What resources are available in terms of sermon prep and bouncing ideas off of other future/present LCMS pastors?  I think I found a group on yahoo groups, but it looks like it is only for ordained clergy.


On a side note: I tinkering with a personal challenge of preaching in all 50 states before I graduate from seminary in 2013.  So, far I have preached in Ohio, Indiana, and Missouri. So far the possible preaching locations thus far are Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, New York, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Idaho. Any other takers?

Christmas 2010

December 30, 2010

First Sunday after Christmas

We have had some wonderful breaks between quarters at Concordia Seminary. I will have to rank this current Christmas break 2010 as the highest ranking thus far. Why do you ask? Well, it is pretty simple. Starting on Christmas Eve it was the first time my father and I served in any capacity together since sophomore year in high school. Even then it was as acolyte and lay reader. I think it is safe to say the Sunday after Christmas marked the first time two Ekong men served on the altar in an official capacity. My father served as the presiding minister and I (2nd yr seminary student)served as the preacher.
I am pretty sure neither of us every imagined the possiblity this happening. There was some other momumental moments that happen that day as well. This was the first time I would be preaching in front of my father, but also my sister and grandmother. This marked the first time my grandmother returned to church since her knee surgery.
I was fine up until about 15 minutes before the sermon. Then I realized while up on the altar that my customary Tums were not in my pocket and that where they were was in Linda’s van outside in the parking lot. As I knelt down to pray to the God that I would be his mouthpiece to his people the nervousness passed.
The things I remember is from the congregation nodding heads, furious scribbling of notes, smiles, a few mmm hmmms, a few amens, smiles, and the look of relief that comes from hearing God’s Word. I am not sure how long the sermon went, but my mother and one other lady said it was longer than my fathers. However, my grandmother said, “my pastor would have still been preaching…” My intention was not to worry about time, but to make sure I proclaimed God’s Word.
Later on the discussion between my parents and I went something like this…Mom: When you can go without any assistance of your manuscript.. Watch out.Dad: The details require a manuscript. Keep in mind he re-wrote the entire sermon on Tuesday.Me: Oh you just wait until I figure out a groove of writing and memorizing on a weekly basis.
I wonder what expressions my father had on his face when listening to the message even though he previously read the manuscript. I do not think anyone could see him because he was sitting behind me. His words of encouragement, praise, and hug in the narthex spoke volumes. I have no idea what was going through my families mind as I step into that pulpit yesterday. I have often wondered what goes through wives, children, parents, siblings, and grandparent’s mind when hearing that family preach for the first time. I guess I will have to ask Linda…

This very well have marked the one and only time I serve on the altar with my father as a seminarian before ordination. Hopefully not, but if that is the case then I am glad it was at this time. I will cherish it always.

Sermon Text: Galatians 4:4-7

Sermon Title: The Perfect Timing!

Dunning accepts position as HKIS head of school

December 8, 2010

I feel extremely proud to say I was taught by Mr. Dunning at Lutheran High School East, Cleveland Heights, OH back in the day. Congrats on his new call. Mr. Dunning is a class act.


The Global Gospel Outreach of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod



TOP STORIES – Dec. 8, 2010


Kevin Dunning accepts position as Hong Kong International School’s head of school



LCMS World Mission celebrates with the staff and students of Hong Kong International School (HKIS) upon the school’s recent announcement that Kevin Dunning has accepted their board’s offer to serve as head of school.

HKIS recently shared on their website, “Kevin M. Dunning has been selected as HKIS’ new head of school, effective July 2011. Kevin has the experience, qualifications and commitment to lead HKIS to our next level of excellence by advancing our mission and championing our Student Learning Results.

“Kevin Dunning serves as the executive director of Faith Lutheran Jr./Sr. High School in Las Vegas, Nev. Under his leadership, Faith has grown from a school of 475 students to the largest private school in Nevada and the largest Lutheran school in the United States, now with more than 1,300 students. He is a frequent presenter at Lutheran conferences and the author of several published essays and devotional materials.


“During his tenure at Faith, he oversaw the development of a 40-acre campus, with facilities totaling more than 160,000 square feet. In 2009, the school launched a 1:1 Apple program at the high school level, complementing an already technologically rich school campus.  Demonstrating his financial acumen, in 2000, Kevin led the school in becoming the first Nevada non-public school to qualify for tax-exempt bond financing, which funded the school’s significant physical growth.


“Kevin and his wife of 31 years, Mary, who is also a teacher at Faith, have two adult children, Jeremy and Maggie.


LCMS World Mission gives thanks to God for His gracious provision of such a strong candidate to lead HKIS as it continues to grow in its 21st century ministry to a diverse group of students and families. Please join LCMS World Mission in also giving thanks for the extensive time and effort that was devoted to this process by the HKIS Board of Directors, LCMS World Mission’s leadership and International Team and many others.


Rev. Dr. David Birner, associate executive director of LCMS World Mission’s International Mission Team, shared, “We rejoice that HKIS will be led by such a gifted and enthusiastic servant of God. The search for a new head of school has been a long process, but the Lord has blessed it and I’m sure that HKIS will continue to be a blessing to its students, families and the surrounding community with its strong educational legacy, emphasis on servanthood and Gospel-centered learning environment.”


To learn more about HKIS, and to read the full text of their announcement, please visit


2010 LCMS World Mission Ablaze! Partners Award

December 6, 2010

Taken from:

TOP STORIES – December 6, 2010

LCMS World Mission honors recipients with 2010 Ablaze! Awards

The 2010 LCMS World Mission Ablaze! Partners Award, for demonstrating a heart for reaching the lost with the Gospel through its daily activities, goes to Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo. We give thanks for their partnership in programs and efforts such as the Specific Ministry Program, the Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology, the Church Planters Assessment Center, recruitment of students for church planting ministry and developing a curriculum for church planting. Rev. Jotham Johann presented the Ablaze! Partners Award to Concordia Seminary representatives Rev. Dr. Dale Meyer and Rev. Dr. Andrew Bartelt on Nov. 30.


Past recipients of this award include:

2009 – Lutheran Women’s Missionary League

2008 – Lutheran Church Extension Fund;

2007 – Lutheran Hour Ministries; and

2006 – People of the Book Lutheran Outreach



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