Sermon series

State of the Church Sermons

Ten Happy Years:

Various – June 27, 1999

It all started late in 1988 when I was sitting at my desk at home in Garland, Texas wondering what I would do with the rest of my life. I was 36 years old, with a wife, three children, a mortgage, and no regular job. Five days a week I drove from Garland to Irving […]

This Must Be the Place:

Various – May 31, 1998

Seven times in nine years I have given a State of the Church address to Calvary Memorial Church. In my first message I quoted the famous words of Daniel Burnham, architect and author of The Chicago City Plan: “Make no small plans. They have no power to stir men’s blood.” I have tried to follow […]

Letters From the Bean Field

2 Samuel 23 – April 23, 1995

“And the Lord brought about a great victory.” What made the difference? One man who refused to run away. One man who turned the tide of battle and through him, God brought about a great victory. What’s the hardest part of winning a battle like that? Having the courage to take your stand in the middle of the field. If you can do that, the rest is easy. The hard part is not running away.

Life Has Been Good

Psalm 127:1 – March 27, 1994

The 1994 Sate of the Church Address to Calvary Memorial Church. The Bible reminds us that everything we have has been given us by God as a gift of his grace. From the very beginning our founders understood that “unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” (Psalm 127:1) They knew that the Lord Jesus is the Head of the church, and that any growth, any blessing, any advance in holiness, any expansion of our ministry must ultimately come from him.

The Eyes of God Are Upon You

Various – March 21, 1993

Our story begins in 1833 when a man named Joseph Kettlestrings, an Englishman from Yorkshire, arrived in the Chicago area. He settled first along the Des Plaines River where he worked at a saw mill. Two years later he moved to a patch of dry ground just west of the thriving city of Chicago. Two […]

Seize the Day!

Various – March 29, 1992

The scene is a prep school somewhere in New England. On a beautiful fall morning the bright young men have gathered in English Literature class, fearing the worst—long, boring hours arguing about Beowulf and the intricacies of iambic pentameter. But lo, it is not to be. Their teacher is brand-new, a graduate years ago of […]


Various – March 11, 1991

Friday morning I did something I had not done since becoming pastor of this church. I took a few minutes and sat on the steps in front of the sanctuary. It was a typical March day in Chicago–clear and cool with just a touch of wind coming from the north. The sun was high overhead […]


Various – January 15, 1991

First Draft: January 15, 1991 (Version 2.30) Submitted by: Ray Pritchard, Brian Bill, Bill Miller, Bob Boerman, Terry Strandt I. Why this plan is offered A. OUR MANDATE: The Great Commission of Jesus Christ to go and make disciples. B. OUR OPPORTUNITY: The spiritual hunger of this generation. C. OUR MOTIVATION: The conviction that we […]

Make No Small Plans

Various – March 11, 1990

Before we moved to Oak Park last August, someone gave us a copy of the Chicago Magazine’s Guide to Chicago. Nestled between the Title Page and the Table of Contents is this quote from Daniel Hudson Burnham, author of The Chicago City Plan: “Make no small plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood.” […]

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