During the month of April Ben Stears, Ty Cross and myself preached a sermon series at each other's churches. I joked with Fellowship Bible that while it's great to be a pastor and only have to work one day a week, I'm never able to visit other churches in town - so I enjoyed the opportunity. I joked with each congregation that I'm glad they get to hear some good preaching for once, which got a good laugh. But when I cracked the KU joke at each church, I acknowledged I wouldn't be invited back after that comment.
There's an energy that comes with being a guest speaker, too. Not that our congregations don't appreciate the work we do in preparing a message each week, but there's an energy that comes with bringing your own unique perspective and style to a different congregation. As Ty kept saying, "the same message preached by someone else will be heard in a fresh way." Ben had his church ready to welcome us; when I walked on the platform the congregation burst out into a loud applause. It was such a cool surprise, I asked them to do it again. I then proceeded to bust them over the head with that difficult message on the elder son. There's also a freedom in preaching at a different congregation - you can just "let it rip" so to speak.
The sermon series was on Luke's parable of the prodigal son. Here's the list of sermons on TFC's website, link. Ty and Ben both nailed it on their Sundays at TFC. My wife said she was a "bubbling mess" after Ben's message. You can also listen or download the mp3's at the Indian Creek website of the Fellowship Bible website.
We're finishing this combined effort through a community-wide service project this Saturday. While only three of us worked together in the 'pastor-swap,' 10 churches and over 250 people will be serving Gardner in various ways this Saturday morning. It will be a great time.