The Lighthouse Keeper

Greetings from Pastor Kerry, former pastor of Spring City UMC. This blog contains my sermon outlines and/or manuscripts from my pastorate among the people of Spring City PA, from 2006 to 2011. Pastor Dennis is now the lighthouse keeper. Come and worship on Sundays at 10:00 a.m.!

Sunday, May 31, 2009


May 31, 2009
Pentecost Sunday!

Educate the Next Generation
Romans 10:1-15 and Acts 8:26-40

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8

My sermon outline:

• Pol Pot, Cambodian dictator, violent rise to power in 1975, responsible for the death of 2 million countrymen. In addition to killing politicians, he executed doctors and lawyers and businessmen, people who could see what he was doing and threatened his power. even folks who wore glasses… glasses, read, read, not welcome in new Cambodia. Reading is power.

• Reading is Power
. According to Rick Warren, half of world, (3 billion people) is functionally illiterate. RW rightly asks the question “How can people rise out of poverty and combat disease if they cannot read?” The statistics are sobering.

• 1 in 20 American adults are not literate in English. 11 million American adults lack the skills to handle everyday tasks. This translates nearly directly into poverty and welfare… Folks who have completed high school on average earn about double what non HS graduates earn. 90% of welfare recipients are HS dropouts. For every high-level reader who lives in poverty there are TEN low-level readers.

Literacy does not just affect income, welfare, and poverty. Illiteracy leads to crime. 50% of prison inmates cannot read. And if an inmate learns to read, he is four times less likely to end up in jail another time, compared to inmates who do not learn to read.

A third of inmates are HS dropouts. 85% of juvenile offenders are functionally illiterate.

Low-reading teen girls are 6 times more likely than their high-reading peers to get pregnant.

Two-thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare.

The Dept. of Justice states that “The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is WELDED to reading failure.” (emphasis mine)

Low-reading folks put a strain on the health care industry as well, being responsible for a disproportionate amount of ER visits and other medical calls, and not understanding dosages and hygiene.

Illiteracy is a social disease that affects everybody, that is passed on from parents to children, and it is something that is both treatable and preventable.

• The Church has historic connection to literacy, literally helping the world shift from oral tradition to written word, both with production of books and education of people. Church and family were primary educators for centuries. John Wesley essentially started schools both to teach the word, train laity to serve, and to educate the pastors’ kids as well as neighborhood kids.
The Church has historically been responsible for the establishment of schools. The Church builds schools now, and will continue to build schools.

• Two scripture passages today about the Christian’s place in educating others. Paul is speaking (Romans 10) on the eternal welfare of folks who do not know Jesus Christ, & his plea for people to share the Word spreads easily to a plea for Christians to be involved in educating the less-educated. How shall people learn to read unless there be teachers?
Same with Philip and the eunuch (Acts 8): How shall I understand unless there is someone to explain it to me? And with this response of education, the eunuch desires baptism.

• There is much to be gained from a literate population, and there is much work to be done.

• Work of Church is not merely evangelism and stewardship, hear the word, sing the hymns, give the offering, and pray (though those are all good elements) but the work of the Church is DO, is REACH OUT where people are, and teach about life eternal and life abundant as well. To steer people away from a life without God and to guide people away from poverty and crime.

• The PEACE plan (Promote reconciliation, Equip servant leaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick, Educate the next generation) … what I haven’t talked about is how Rick Warren’s people are spreading out across the globe, in cities, towns, and villages, empowering the local people (even as the Holy Spirit empowers us!!!) tackling the giants, and teaching. RW is networking congregations like ours with congregations in other countries, empowering, building schools, churches, hospitals.

• Our hope and our goal is to give glory to God by our service, and to lead other people into fullness of life on earth, that they may experience eternal life because of their relationship with their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

• Hymn 649 How Shall They Hear The Word Of God?

- Pastor Kerry

This Sunday: 78 in worship.


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