The Night Before

The night before you preach your last sermon is unique. It's a melancholy night of nostalgia.

This evening the staff had a going away party for us. As is typical when that group is gathered…lots of laughs.

Chad, my friend and partner in ministry on the stage on Sundays…let me have a heads up that they planned to play a brief video showing pictures from my first Sunday and some from our last Sunday in the old worship center…with clips of Don Crisp (one of our elders) from the first Sunday and my first sermon at HOCC played over it.

Click here to watch it.

Ouch…in a good way. But, here was my question: HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO GET UP AND PREACH AFTER THAT?

Because God will allow me to.

Because the church and the Spiveys need closure to a great era.

Because I learned so much and was loved so much by so many.

Because Sunday's coming… and Jesus is risen.

That's why we all preach…or should.

And, because it's fun to preach and worship and be church…even when it hurts.

So, I look forward to tomorrow…to the bread and the cup, to the praise, to the hugs, to the tears, and to the celebration of what God has done over the past six years or so. And I peek over the horizon at what may lie ahead…knowing that the same God who granted the Spiveys six wonderful years can do even greater things in the years to come.

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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Share Your Thoughts

10 thoughts on “The Night Before

  1. Bro,
    You did a fine job Sunday!
    I wish all us “preacher-types” could preach our “last” one every time. There is something visceral and brutally honest about it (and that’s just how we hear ourselves not to mention how others hear us).
    Richard Baxter wrote, to preach “as never sure to preach again and as a dying man to dying men.”
    I pray you have many, many more “lasts.”

  2. Tim,
    My husband and I never had the chance to meet you; we began visiting Highland Oaks in December, and decided to place membership a couple months later. We had the opportunity to meet Emily a couple of times in class, but wish we’d been able to get to know you both.
    We are saddened by your departure; we looked forward to hearing you speak every Sunday. My husband, Cody, and I both seem to sadly suffer from short attention spans – but you always held our attention and touched our hearts. You were certainly one of the main reasons we chose to return again and again to HOCC, and eventually place membership. We also enjoyed reading your blog – even the American Idol commentary…I myself never missed an episode. 🙂
    Anyway, I just wanted you to know we always appreciated your words and wish you the best of luck as you decide where to preach or teach next. God bless you and your family – and thank you for blessing us! You will be missed, even by those you never met.
    Lindsay Jackson

  3. Tim,
    I really enjoy reading your blog and will continue wherever you go. May God always lead you and your family always be fruitful wherever y’all go.
    BTW, do you know of any church planting opportunities in northern California? Lord willing I will move to Lubbock, TX this Fall to be trained at Sunset School of Preaching. I would like to part of a church planting effort in either the NE or NW US.
    God bless you Tim. Grace and Peace.
    PS. When are your books being Published? I will buy them and read them.

  4. God bless you Tim into the future. May God lead you and yours into other fruitful ministries in the future.
    When will your books going be published? I will certainly buy them and read them. And I will certainly continue to read your blog.
    Grace and Peace.

  5. Brother Tim,
    I cannot wait to see what God is going to do with you and your sweet family. Thank you for all that you have done to help me and At The Cross. May the God of hope continue to bless and watch over you!

  6. Tim, you haven’t seen me at HOCC because I moved to Odessa to work in the oil and gas business.
    I didn’t stick around to say goodbye and I regret that.
    I don’t know what you have cooking or why you’re leaving and that is fine by me. Just know this, you have blessed my life.
    You may not know it. But, you have a friend in me. If you need me, my email has not changed in 10 years. I would love to hear from you.

  7. Wanted you to know that I have really enjoyed reading your blog. Only being at HOCC for four of the six years, I don’t know you well, but this gives me some insight on who you are as a man…not just a preacher. I have found reading your thoughts to be comforting in this time of strife. I would like to continue to read, if you will continue to write about how things pan out for you in the future.
    Know that you are loved.
    Kathryn Ponder

  8. Tim
    I wish I could have been at the staff party…hope you enjoyed my pork chops and chicken….I thought about you and Emily as I was with Garrett tonight and hoped that the party was wonderful and full of joy, laughter, love and encouragement. Couldn’t find a babysitter for Garrett…
    I will be there tomorrow am…can’t wait,
    Love Jami