Yesterday, I got to witness something that doesn’t happen very often. Slavic Baptist culture dictates that three sermons are preached at every service. In some of the new church plants, there tends to be very sermons, but in the old, traditional churches, 3 sermons is the norm.
Typically, the first sermon is short, 3-5 minutes and is usually related to prayer and then the church prays. After some music and poems, the second sermon is usually between 15-20 minutes and the last one can be up to 30 minutes. Slavic services are usually 2 hours long.
At the service yesterday, the first sermon was preached by a guest deacon, I was to be second and the pastor preached the third sermon. Of course, none of us knew what the other person would be speaking, but God gloriously intertwined our messages. Gethsemane has become my “home” church in Donetsk, and so I have been preaching from the Great Commission or from Acts each time I have preached there.
I believe this church can be a catalyst for church planting and the pastor and several other men have the same heart as I do, so it was a great surprise to see us preach from the same theme. The pastor even mentioned it during his sermon. God moved during the service and it was encouraging to get positive remarks from some people after the service.
Please continue to pray for pastor Anatoliy, the leaders of the church and for Gethsemane church as they seek to serve God in possibly new ways. May we all be found obedient in answering His call!